Knowledge and attitudes of neonatal intensive care nurses toward assessment and management of pain

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Walls, Ingeborg C.
Ali, Nagia S.
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Thesis (M.S.)
School of Nursing
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Due to technologic breakthroughs, neonatal intensive care units (NICU) are caring for sicker and tinier clients. However, personal beliefs and attitudes about neonatal pain have not kept up with the times. The purpose of this study was to explore knowledge and attitudes of NICU RNs regarding the assessment and management of neonatal pain. The theoretical framework for this study was Travelbee's Human-to-Human Relationship Theory. The sample was drawn from a mailing list obtained from the Central Indiana chapter of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. Thirty nurses completed the study's tool, Use of Drugs for Pain and Agitation Survey of NICU's Questionnaire. Statistical analysis included frequencies and percentages. Results revealed that there was consistent agreement among nurses regarding the belief that neonates do feel pain and that pain assessment and management is different for neonates as compared to adults. Implications are discussed in relation to improvement in nursing practice and to nursing education.