Transcultural Pain Management: Theory, Practice, and Nurse-Client Partnerships

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Nursing is becoming increasingly aware of its impact as a global profession. Part of this evolution is the understanding that the Western evidence-based construct may not be reliably or universally applicable to transcultural settings and clients. In a global world, no ‘one size fits all’ and no singular approach to pain management is appropriate; there are, quite literally, infinite variations in cross-cultural dynamics. Nurses working in the field of pain management must be able to navigate their responsibilities within the global health context. The role of the pain management nurse in the global world is to provide individualized and culturally relevant pain management for clients, which is mindful of multifactorial contributors to the pain experience, such as the physiologic, affective, cognitive, behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental, and to view adequate pain management as an international human right. Through the skillful integration of theory, practice, and the ability to build respectful and responsible nurse-client partnerships, pain management nurses can deliver contextually relevant care that promotes safety, quality, and healing.

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