pain assessment nmc osce skill station

In this article we will be discussing about the Pain assessment skill which is introduced in NMC OSCE from 2021. The time limit for this station is six minutes. You need to assess the pain of the patient using PQRST method. Lets see more in this article.

Pain Assessment Skill station in NMC OSCE

This station is not a silent station. Patient can be a mannequin or a real patient. So you need to go through the introduction phase, procedural phase, post procedural phase as well as documentation phase.

Introduction phase

  • Introduces yourself
  • Asks the patient, name and dob
  • Confirms the name, hospital number, dob with the document and id tag
  • Asks about allergies
  • Inform the patient about your purpose of visit – To assess pain and to make patient comfortable

Procedural phase

  • Hand washing using 7 steps of hand hygiene
  • Gain consent and expose area of pain
  • Observe colour and check for swelling
  • Assess pain using PQRST method

PQRST Method

P – Provacative or Palliative

Ask what causes the pain? Ask what makes pain better? Ask what makes pain worse/

Q- Quality of pain

What does the pain feel like? Is it dull, sharp, stabbing, burning, crushing, shooting,throbbing? Is the pain intense?

R – Radiation

Ask where did the pain start? Is it radiating to another place?

S – Severity

Asks to rate pain on the pain scale

Asks how it affects his/her quality of life

T – Time

Asks if the pain remains same throughout or do it come and go often

  • Enquire whether patient got any pain relief
  • Make patient more comfortable, for eg. if pain is in the lower leg, offer to elevate using a pillow
  • Tell patient it is important to move the site for eg if it ankle of leg, so that pressure ulcers don’t develop.

Post Procedural phase

  • After assessment of pain using PQRST method, do the hand washing using seven steps of hand hygiene
  • Tell patient that you will discuss with doctor and will see if there is anything we can do to make you more comfortable
  • Gives the call bell and asks to press the bell if he needs any help


Pain assessment skill can be easily completed with six minutes time frame. Make sure that whatever you are saying to patient is loud and clear.