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Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your classmates who chose a different experience than you did.

 

Ask any questions that might help to further your understanding of the discussion, or take the discussion to a deeper level. Do you agree with your peer’s thoughts on the technique selected?  What other technique might you suggest from your own research for this assignment that might have been effective in this incidence? Cite your source(s). Do you think that cultural differences might make a difference in how you and your classmate perceive pain? Why, or why not?   

Response 1 Gabriela is the students name

My most painful experience in life (besides child birth) was while deployed to Afghanistan. I was a c130 Avionics Technician and worked on night crew. One night as we were finishing up the job we were working on, we turned off the plane and began gathering the equipment to head in to the hangar. Once the plane was off, it became completely dark inside the plane as well as outside because it was night time and there are no lights around. I began stepping down from the flight station where we had been working and as I stepped down on the first stepped, I slipped. As I slipped, my RH pinky and ring finger got caught in between two pieces of metal that were a part of the microwave area. Obviously due to the weight of my body falling down and out of the flight station, literally to the ground, my fingers got tore off. I stood up and had not even realized what happened but just remember feeling a little bit of pain in my back from the fall and then feeling wetness on my right hand. I looked at my hand and had blood all over it and realized that my fingers were gone. There was still some bone sticking out but for the most part they were pretty mangled. I still did not feel any pain for about 15 minutes after probably due to the fact that I had to take off sprinting to where our Corpsman were so that they could take me to the medical center. Once I started having sensation in my hand again, the pain was excruciating throughout my entire right arm. They had to amputate the remainder of the bones that were left down to my last knuckle on both of those fingers because it was going to be impossible to sew them back on. After that I had to be medically evacuated out of Afghanistan and was on my way home to quite a few months of occupational therapy to help me regain some of my grip and to desensitize my hand.

This is experience obviously dealt with pain that came from my physical condition because I suffered a serious injury. Skin, bone, ligaments, tendons and sorts of other things were severely damaged as a result of this injury so it was expected for me to be in pain during the healing process. As time passed, what surprised me was something that Doctors and my therapist called phantom pains. I would feel a sense of pain not only on the small remainders of my fingers but on the area where the rest of my fingers should have been. It would be a sharp pain that would run down my “fingers” which were no longer there, but what amazed me is that it literally felt as though they were still there. I would consider that to be a part of the gate-control theory. “Gate-control theory the idea that a neural gate in the spinal cord can open and close thus modulating incoming pain signals” (Davey, 2011). This theory basically explains that there is a neutral gate in the spinal cord which can regulate incoming pain but the opening or closing of the gate is influenced by different things like messages from the brain or how much activity is occurring in our pain fibers. When the gate receives the information transmitted from on one these things, the gate is either opened or closed, resulting in the feeling of pain if it is opened. In my case, one of the conditions that opened the gate, causing me to feel pain, was not only a physical condition but after a while a mental condition. I was focused so much on how painful it was that my mind kept making me think that it would hurt, when in reality the pain was minimal after a while. I also think that my brain had not completely processed the fact that my fingers were missing which caused me to have the phantom pains or phantom feelings.

For my particular situation, I think that the utilization of operant techniques would be the best solution to reduce the pain. “Operant techniques in pain management, the idea that pain behaviours are learned responses which become conditioned through reinforcement” (Davey, 2011). Things like learning to use my hand as I normally would rather than being extra careful with it would probably help me to not focus so much on the pain I had felt.

I believe that we all experience pain very differently, depending on the circumstance of each individual. Someone who has access to medical care and medication will probably have a worst perception of pain because they know that they will be taken care of and can easily get medication to deal with the pain. People who live in poor countries and do not have the same access to medical treatment or medication will probably deal with the pain very differently because they do not really have a choice. They know that they have to deal with the pain and move forward so they probably have a very different mentality which can result in possibly feeling less pain due to their state of mind. In other instances, the activities that we are doing may impact our perception of pain as well. Athletes or soldiers in the middle of combat may not even realize that they have an injury because of the adrenaline rush they have and because they are focused on something else which to them may be more important at that time.

Some usage trends of pain management techniques that I can identify would probably be the ones that revolve around gradually minimizing medication and adapting to good behaviors. I think that those are both effective techniques because it allows for individuals to slowly learn to not be dependent on things like medication as well as begin to live life back to normal doing their normal activities.

Davey, G. (Ed). (2011). Applied psychology. West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell

Response 2 Kevin is the students name

      It is not so easy to talk about the most painful experience in my life. I was robbed at gunpoint back in the early eighties. I was shot in the chest for my radio. I had two major surgery operations and one of them was to close up the hole in my lung. The pain was unbearable at times. They were giving me Demerol and it was not as strong as I would have liked.

                I was in enough pain that I was very stressed. I coped with my pain with a strong sense of acceptance and that means that I had gotten to a point that the nurses were just workers and I had to let them do their jobs and wait my turn. I know that gunshot wounds are not as painful as the after effects. The main technique I used was prayer, it helped plenty and I meditated as much as possible. (Moderate to severe chronic non-cancerous pain affects approximately 9% of Americans and their families and significantly impacts healthcare, social, economic, and national issues). Jackson,K. (2005).

                A study of patients attending a pain management clinic in Melbourne found that the less educated people were–regardless of cultural background or home language–the more likely they were to complain about higher levels of pain and to think they could not deal with it. Sex and race influence pain ratings. I guess men are more likely to have less pain then women and I believe it is because women are much more emotional than men, but that is just my opinion.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your classmates who chose a different life event than you. Ask any questions that might help to further your understanding of the discussion, or take the discussion to a deeper level. Do you agree with your classmate’s coping plan? Why, or why not?  What would you do differently? What other technique might you suggest from your own research for this assignment that might have been effective in this incidence? Cite your source(s).

Response 3 Gabriela is the students name

A stressful life event that I have been through was leaving the military. It would fall under the category of a change in line of work and has a life changing unit score of 36. The life changing unit score or LCU score is “a numeric value assigned to individual life events to determine the social readjustment each event would require” (Davey, 2011). This event was stressful for me because while in the Marine Corps, we are trained in a very particular manner and you become accustomed to the military life. I didn’t know what to expect in the “civilian world” because I had enlisted right after high school so all I really knew was the strict military way of life. It was a guaranteed paycheck every first and fifteenth, I had medical and dental insurance and I knew my job well. So leaving that comfort zone to join the civilian work force was kind of terrifying. I was stressed out about even being able to find a job and keep it, going back to school, getting medical coverage and so many other things that the military offered that the civilian world didn’t.

There are various types of methods utilized to help people cope with stress depending on the situation. Research has shown that using positive approaches are very useful in many situations. Positive reappraisal is “cognitive restructuring so that one sees the stressful situation in a more positive light” (Davey, 2011). Another similar strategy is called benefit finding. This is where victims of stressful situations try and find the positive in their situation, like growing closer to their community after natural disasters. The more benefits that people can find in their situations results in better physical and mental health. Utilizing social support is another coping mechanism that can be effective. Having the support of family and friends allows for emotional support and realistic problem solving.

Personally, social support is always my best coping mechanism during a stressful situation. I have always been very close to my family and we always support each other through thick and thin, emotionally or in any way needed. I know that I can turn to them and they will have my best interest at heart without being biased. That is why their support always manages to help me deal with whatever the situation is because they will be completely honest and realistic. Studies have shown that social support has some health benefits. Cardiovascular, endocrine and immune functioning can all be improved by having social support. It can also lead to less chances of heart disease risk factors like blood pressure (Davey, 2011). Some downfalls to having social support is that the support provided may not be what we need and may end up causing more damage than good.

 

Davey, G. (Ed). (2011). Applied psychology. West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.

Response 4 Nysheka is the students name

A stressful life event that I am currently experiencing is a change in my financial state. In my opinion this is very stressful because my husband and I have three children to support and we have to manage a household on an income that has changed dramatically since my husband had a decrease in his wages. The “life change unit (LCU) is a numeric value assigned to individual life events to determine the social readjustment each event would require” (Davey, 2011), and the score for my life event is 38.

Current trends in coping with stress are adopting a healthy lifestyle based upon research “having a healthy lifestyle can reduce stress and burnout while helping to solve problems more effectively” (Barringer&Orbuch, 2013). Another trend is making time for relaxation by finding ways to recharge such as writing in a journal, listening to music, or hanging out with friends or meditating.

My coping plan for this life event is by problem-focused and emotion-focused coping. These two classifications will allow me to view my problem head on and take actions to change the situation for example, my husband is looking for a better job and preparing to return to school and I am finding ways to reduce spending. I recently joined a social group and my husband and I have been attending church regularly for fellowship at our church to keep our mind off of things and asking family for help when needed. The disadvantage of this plan is dealing with the frustrations of not having the right support from family at the appropriate time.

 
Davey, G. (Ed). (2011). Applied psychology. West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.

Barringer, P. &Orbuch, D. (2013). Stress, Wellness, and Compliance: Practical Strategies for Reducing Stress, Improving Personal Health, and Engaging your Employees. Journal of Healthcare Compliance, 15(1), pg. 23-28, 52.Retrieved from ProQuest.

 

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