The relationship between clinical nursing experience and pain management in preverbal children




Calhoun, Rick

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The purpose of this retrospective study was to explore whether the level of a pediatric nurse's clinical experience is related to effective pain management in hospitalized preverbal children age three years or less. The investigator reviewed 50 closed charts obtained from one hospital medical records department.

The selection criteria of charts included: pediatric patient charts who are age three years or less, discharged between the dates of January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2002, and with an International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) diagnoses for acute otitis media, otitis media, acute pharyngitis, acute tonsillitis, peri-tonsillar abscess, Kawasaki's, mononucleosis, pneumonia, and cellulitis.

Findings were unexpected since the inclusion criteria were selected based on diagnoses known to be painful. There were 54 charted entries with 30 entries containing a quantitative or qualitative pain assessment. Only six of the pain assessments included a quantitative pre and post-pain intervention evaluation. Of the 54 entries there were 22 documented entries of pain relieving interventions (pharmacological or non-pharmacological). In this study the nurses with less pediatric clinical experience documented more about the patients' pain and intervened more often.



Health and environmental sciences, Pediatric nursing, Pain control in children