• audit;
  • analgesia;
  • pain;
  • documentation

The report of the joint working party of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Pain after Surgery, raised many questions in relation to the way pain is managed after surgery. This report questioned many of the existing practices of pain control and highlighted the need for the development of regular pain assessment. The report raised questions regarding PRN (pro-re nata, as needed) prescribing and reinforced the importance of the role of the nurse. This study reviews the way pain is managed in this hospital with regard to analgesia prescribing and analgesia administration trends as well as the documentation of pain. The study was conducted by retrospective review of randomly selected patient charts. The results of this study conclude that documentation of pain following surgery is poor and needs improvement. Existing prescription trends, in particular PRN prescribing, may be hindering both good practice and the pre-emptive administration of analgesia.