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UCLA Department of Nursing


UCLA awarded designation as National Magnet Hospital
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center designated
National Magnet Hospital

UCLA awarded designation as National Magnet Hospital
UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica designated
National Magnet Hospital

Teach Back for Pain Management

Teach Back for Pain Management helps care providers and patients gain an understanding and set realistic goals of what is needed to keep the patient's pain well managed. Teach Back is an evidence-based methodology that can be used for all education topics. 

Teach Back for Pain Management includes the following steps:

  • When discussing pain with your patient, ask if they would be willing to set a goal for pain relief on an appropriate scale. This means, that if we are unable to alleviate 100% of their pain what level (on the chosen scale) would be acceptable for them. Discussing pain relief with our patients helps them develop realistic expectations around pain management.
  • Ask what has worked for their pain management in the past. If a patient has had experience with pain and pain relief in the past this information can be useful to create a current plan.
  • Discuss the use of alternative therapies with your patient. Ask the patient if they have ever used, or would be interested in using, alternative therapies such as: Hot and cold packs, aromatherapy, massage, music therapy or animal therapy for pain relief.
  • Partner with the patient to work to achieve the set goal. Use Teach Back to have the patient teach the pain management plan back and demonstrate when and how to call for the nurse. 

The Partnering with U to Manage Your Pain handout should be used with patients and/or their families to discuss the Teach Back steps around pain management and the resources for alternative therapies available. 

For questions, contact:
Jill Scherrey, MSN, RN-BC
Nursing Professional Development Specialist
Department of Nursing Research & Education

Revised 8/2016


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