Understanding Pain

Audience /Overview

CNAs in long-term care, sub-acute facilities, and hospital settings will learn detailed information on the mechanism of pain in the human body along with current pain management guidelines. CNAs must frequently interact with and care for patients experiencing acute and chronic pain in all healthcare settings. Understanding how pain is created in the body and what actions a CNA can take to reduce pain will positively impact their patients. Because pain and pain relief techniques are subjective, providing care for patients with acute and/or chronic pain can be a challenging task for a CNA. Understanding pain, how acute pain varies from chronic pain, various disease states that contribute to pain, and understanding the roles a CNA can play in pain management can empower CNAs to take better care of their patients and have more confidence in the care of their patients.

Course Curriculum

  1. Physiology of pain and pain receptors
  2. Defining Acute vs. Chronic pain
  3. Causes of Pain
  4. Most common disease states that cause pain in LTC/sub-acute facilities
  5. Factors that influence pain
  6. Doing a pain interview
  7. Common treatments for pain
  8. Non-pharmacologic pain interventions and comfort measures

Learning Objectives

After successfully completing the course, students should be able to:

  • Have a general understanding of how pain works in the body and factors that can affect pain
  • Understand what diseases most commonly cause chronic pain in long-term care facilities
  • Summarize the difference between acute pain and chronic pain, and the various ways to care for each
  • Understand the most common treatments for pain, either with medications or without medications
  • List the long-term effects of pain on patients
  • Discuss non-pharmacologic pain interventions that can be used for most patients
  • Know what comfort measures a CNA can take to decrease their patients’ pain

Course Format and Teaching Method

  • The course is led by an instructor in a classroom setting. Instructors will lecture content and lead discussion to include the cognitive learning portion of the class with case scenarios and activities. The instructors will guide the students. The instructor will guide the students through the case scenarios and the activities to encourage participation. A quiz at the end of the class will ensure cognitive learning was achieved.
  • Course duration: 4 hours

Course Completion Certificate

NAC CE Credits: 4.0

Textbook Requirement

  • A lecture manual will be handed out at the beginning of class to each
    student at no additional charge.
Infection Control Guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities

Course Summary


NAC CE Credits: 4.0

Oakland, CA & Sacramento, CA

4 hours

Lecture Manual Included

Class Times

Classroom CourseOakland / Bay AreaSacramentoYour Location

CNAs in long-term care, sub-acute facilities, and hospital settings will learn detailed information on the mechanism of pain in the human body along with current pain management guidelines.

Please choose a location:

Oakland / Bay Area

Upcoming Understanding Pain Courses:


Upcoming Understanding Pain Courses:

Prefer a convenient location option for your group of 8 or more?

Project Heartbeat makes every effort possible to provide classes available throughout the entire Bay Area.

In addition to classes conducted at one of our facilities, Project Heartbeat understands that it is much more convenient to send 1 instructor to your facility rather than sending all your students to ours. Therefore, any of our classes can be personalized to your needs and conducted at your home, workplace, school, hospital, or other healthcare facility.

Onsite classes can be scheduled 7 days a week during the morning, afternoon, early evening, or even during an extended work lunch break.

We will make every effort to tailor a class specific to your needs!