Exploring Alternative Pain Management Methods of Registered Nurses in Medical-Surgical and Cardiac Telemetry Units

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:40 AM

Maribeth Lyon, BSN
Cardiac Telemetry Unit, Covenant Health System, Lubbock, TX
Beverly Byers, EdD, RN
Department of Nursing, Lubbock Christian University, Lubbock, TX

Learning Objective 1: discuss barriers in achieving pain control and the importance of making accurate pain assessment in post-operative patients.

Learning Objective 2: Discuss teaching strategies for nurses to accurately assess pain and effectively administer pain management.

Purpose: Nurses undertreat pain due to performing inadequate pain assessments resulting in decreased patient satisfaction.  Barriers nurses encounter is their own lack of knowledge concerning patients’ pain as well as their own personal beliefs.  Educating nurses to make accurate pain assessment results in better pain management and increased patient satisfaction. The purpose of this project is to teach nurses to follow an algorithm to correctly assess pain and provide knowledge for nurses to critically think in using a pain toolkit. The success of the project is measured through data gathered from patients and nurses.

Methods: This project used a mixed-methods design.  The research questions were 1) Do postoperative patients receive adequate pain control while in a Medical-Surgical & Cardiac Telemetry Unit?  2) Can nurses learn to better assess postoperative patients’ pain and improve patient care by using alternative pain management methods?  A five-point Likert-type questionnaire was developed following a review of the literature.  

Results: Post-surgical patients experience unrelieved pain due to under-treatment. Research shows nurses have significant knowledge deficits resulting in inadequate pain assessments.  From the data gathered on the questionnaire, a teaching strategy was developed including an algorithm protocol to skillfully perform an accurate pain assessment and to utilize alternative management pain methods.