Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Rebecca Beck-Little

Abstract

The under-treatment of pain is a problematic area for hospitalized patients nationwide. Pain diminishes a person's quality of life and this issue can be of great concern to healthcare personnel. The purpose of this study was to explore nurses' knowledge and attitudes towards pain and pain management. Fifty nurses from various practice areas participated in the survey that included a demographic data form and the Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Pain Management questionnaire. A literature review was conducted to review and explore nurses' knowledge and attitudes towards pain and pain management. This provided empirical evidence of nurses' assessment and documentation behaviors, potential knowledge and attitude deficits, assessed the effectiveness of pain intervention, and provided evidence of personal and systematic barriers to effective pain management. Patricia Benner's Novice to Expert Model provided the framework for the study. The investigator used a quantitative approach of descriptive research, and a correlational study design to examine relationship among the demographic data and the actual knowledge of registered nurses who practice in a variety of acute care settings. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 18 was utilized for data analysis. The results of the study indicated that there are deficits in nurses' knowledge and attitudes towards pain and pain management. Specifically, knowledge deficits were seen in analgesic dosing, analgesic ceiling dose of opioids and discerning addiction from tolerance and physical dependence. Strengths were indicated in physiology and planning.

Included in

Nursing Commons

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