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Pain: Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) Cheat Sheet by

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Instru­ctions detailing the use of the numeric rating scale (NRS) to assess pain intensity for persons able to self report.

Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) Instru­ctions

Purp­ose: To assess pain intensity in persons who are able to self report.

When to Use:
1. At initial intake­/ad­mission to services.
2. For an older adult in pain, assess at least every 8 hours an older adult in pain, assess at least every 8 hours.
3. Any time a change in pain status is reported.
4. One hour following a pain interv­ention to assess effect­ive­ness.
5. For older adults residing in long term health care settings, assess­ments should be completed at each quarterly review.

How to Use: Ask individual to point to the number on the Numeric Rating Scale that best represents the intensity of their pain NOW.

Docu­men­tat­ion: Docume­nt/­record all scores in a location that is readily accessible by others on the health care team.

Numeric Rating Scale (NRS)

Credit: Keela Herr, PhD, RN, FAAN, AGSF

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