Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Candice Rome

Abstract

This study was completed to help determine if nurses had a true understanding of how to provide pain management to patients in their care who were at the end of their life. A review of literature was completed and it revealed that nurses have a fear of opioid overdose and respiratory depression in their patients when providing proper pain management. It also revealed that patients have a fear of dying in pain at the end of their life especially if they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. The study also revealed that when patients die in pain it actually impedes quality of life and that there are too many patients that are still dying in pain. The conceptual framework that guided this study was Betty Neuman's Healthcare Systems Model on how stressors can have a direct impact pain management. Statistical analysis was completed from the sample size of 26 participants and revealed that nurses showed knowledge on pain management however, needed more knowledge and education in knowing how to document the patient's pain accurately and administer accordingly. There is still evidence that shows patients are dying in pain and are undertreated for pain. As nurses and patient advocates this is where an intervention needs to be made. No patient deserves to die in pain when there are plenty of opioid or non-opioid medications to choose from that will help alleviate the symptoms and discomfort.

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