Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Janie M. Carlton

Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive study was to identify registered nurses' perceptions of why Hispanic women use or decline pain control during the childbirth process and to identify preferences of pain control. A convenience sample of registered nurses (N = 30) from a large healthcare system in North Carolina was utilized. An 11-item questionnaire using a Likert scale was used. (Appendix A). The questionnaire instrument was developed specifically for this study, and was validated by Julie Stembridge, certified nurse mid- wife, an experienced mid-level provider in obstetrical care. (Appendix B) Demographic data was collected to provide a basis for variations in questionnaire data collected, examined and interpreted. (Appendix C) Findings revealed that 70% (21) of registered nurses agreed or strongly agreed that most Hispanic women are not using pain medication during labor. All nurses with less than 10 years of experience agreed that Hispanic women prefer to decline medication, 70% of nurses with 10 to 20 years of experience agreed with the statement, and just 45% of nurses with over 20 years of experience agreed. If medication was used, the preference was intravenous narcotics and refusal of the epidural option. Of the seven possible reasons, three do not appear to be key barriers (education of pain control options in prenatal care, having support person(s) present during childbirth and fearing modernized medicine). These can be addressed through patient education. Nurses however, were split on the remaining four possible barriers (Hispanic women's expectations changing during laboring and delivery, past experiences, cultural beliefs and cost of pain control).

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