Saturday, July 16, 2005
This presentation is part of : Medical Surgical Nursing
Pain Management of Patients in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit
Pamela Windle, MS, RN, CNA, BC, CPAN, CAPA, PACU/SOU, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston, TX, USA
Learning Objective #1: Describe the pain management research study perfomed in the post-anesthesia care unit by utilizing data mining of the perianesthesia nursing documentation
Learning Objective #2: Describe the seven research findings from this study that can be utilized in your current nursing practice

Postoperative pain is a problem that affects patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, length of stay and financial cost. Studies indicate that despite the availability of Clinical Practice Guidelines developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), postoperative pain management remains inadequate which maybe due to the clinician's approach to individualized patient's pain assessment and management.

This descriptive study (Phase I of a larger study) was designed to obtain information on relationships between types of pain medications used in PACU, effectiveness of the medications and patient characteristics. Data were collected from the existing databases: Care Manager (electronic patient chart), Orbit (OR electronic record) and HBOC (patient database) on 1269 patients admitted during a 54 days study period. There were 7 research questions identified, looking at the differences between the type of surgery, type of pain medication administered, patient's age, gender, effectiveness of pain medication, patients receiving or not receiving PCA pump, and the frequency of medication administered. The overall purpose of the study was to develop a PACU Pain Management Algorithm that will serve as a guide for managing acute postoperative pain. Several variables showed highly significant results (p=.05).

Nursing implications included awareness of how perianesthesia nurses performed their assessment and management of postoperative pain and a future development of PACU Pain Management Algorithm protocol. The significance of the study will benefit PACU patients' postoperative pain and comfort. Also, patient outcome will improved, satisfaction will increased and hospital stays will shorten. This study will assist with future research questions as identified in the current study.