The Hospital Pain Chart



After spending many consecutive hours in an Emergency Room, I got a fairly good idea of what actual pain is to experience as opposed to the common occurances we experience day-to-day.  Sure, it hurts when you stub your toe, but I wouldn’t say you’re in pain.  When something hurts, it’s fleeting – when you’re in pain, you need professional medical care.  That’s where doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff come to the rescue.  

Hospitals break out the good ol’ pain chart; generally, I heard doctors and nurses asking patients to rate their pain on a scale of one to ten – that is, unless it was so obvious they didn’t have to ask.  (If you can only scream or are not conscious, it’s clear you’re a ten.)  Asking people how bad it was didn’t surprise me, but I was jostled out of my sleep deprived daze when I saw the actual chart.  Isn’t it glorious?!?  I could look at this thing all day.

However, if one did have to truly evaluate pain on a visual level, there is one face I don’t see on the chart that was as real as… well, pain:  there were people who were in such a bad state (yet still living) that they couldn’t close their mouths, nor were they making a sound and they weren’t panting, either.  Some folks in that ER… well, they were in real trouble.  I guess there is some pain that goes beyond a ten.

OK, it’s getting too real – let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on February 6, 2015, in observations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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