A patient who is one-day post knee replacement surgery has a nursing diagnosis of acute pain. Which is the most appropriate short-term goal for this patient?

Patient will report pain level of less than 6 on 0-10 scale by end of shift.

Explanation

•Nursing Diagnosis: Pain r/t surgical site, traumatic injury, and/or immobility. A one-day post-op patient is expected to experience acute pain, and interventions will be aimed at assessing and addressing this. 

•Short Term Goal/Outcome: Patient will report pain of less than 7 on 0-10 scale. Nursing goals should be realistic and measurable, so a reasonable goal is to bring the patient's pain to his or her acceptable pain level of six or below during the shift. 

Incorrect options:

•The patient should not minimize his activity as that immobility and resulting stiffness can cause the patient to have more difficulty using the new joint.

•Most patients require narcotic analgesia for weeks after a joint replacement surgery. It is unrealistic to expect a patient to stop using narcotic pain relief on post-op day one.

•Long Term Goal/Outcome: Patient will be pain-free. The long-term goal may be to help the patient return to a pain-free state, but that is unrealistic during the shift on post-op day one.

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