Mental Health Monday–A Better Pain Chart

When patients are admitted to the hospital, their vital signs are checked at regular intervals. Vital signs include blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and percent oxygenation of the blood. A fifth vital sign includes rating pain on a scale of 0-10. Since pain is such a subjective thing, the scale includes pictures to help the rater identify where they lie on the scale.

Pain Measurement Scale (CLICK THE LINK TO SEE PIC)


A better pain chart has been made and it’s circling around the interwebz like crazy. So I thought I’d share it with all y’all.

A Better Pain Chart (CLICK LINK TO SEE PIC)


I deleted the pic to avoid copyright infringement, so I’ll paraphrase the scale…

0: No pain

1: Not sure if I’m in pain

2: Just need a band-aid

3: Distressed; don’t like what’s happening

4: Pain is not effing around

5: Why is this happening to me???

6: Ow. Pain is super legit right now

7: I see Jesus coming for me and I’m scared

8: Pain is disturbing. I may be dying

9: I am almost definitely dying

10: I am actually being mauled by a bear

11: Blood will explode out my face any moment

Too Serious for Numbers: You probably have ebola. It appears you may also be suffering from stigmata and/or pinkeye

Quite useful, isn’t it?

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12 comments on “Mental Health Monday–A Better Pain Chart

  1. Karen Lange says:

    A new pain chart is probably a good idea. I find it interesting how people’s pain tolerances vary. Thanks for breaking it down for us.

  2. Addy Rae says:

    The better pain scale is from this post on Hyperbole and a Half: Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Ebola. Probably. ( ) Pretty much everything this blogger produces makes me laugh myself silly!

  3. Lydia K says:

    I LOVE that pain scale. I need that in my office (for me, not for my patients!)

  4. amie borst says:

    i’ve seen that before – so freaking funny!!

  5. That’s funny. Gotta love a doctor with a sense of humor.

  6. Linda Gray says:

    I love that! I’m always thrown when I go to a doctor for an injury and s/he blandly asks “How painful is it, on a scale of 1 -10” without any explanation. (I’ve never been shown those pics). In the next three seconds at least fourteen scenarios go through my mind about how this particular doctor may interpret my answer based on their own ideas. (I could draw a chart of what that looks like–maybe I should, and show it to them)

  7. ROFL! After cracking a tooth this weekend, I appreciate that chart more than I would have last week. I told the dentist the pain was a 9, but on the new chart I’d call it a 6. Not dying, but close to wishing I would. 😉

  8. Vicki Tremper says:

    That made my day!

  9. aparnanairphotography says:

    hi Laura – I just nominated you for the inspiring blog award!!
    PS. thanks for keeping me sane.

  10. J E Fritz says:

    Now this is a pain chart that makes sense.

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