Elizabeth Borja


An Educational Intervention to Improve Nurse Knowledge and the use of Validated Pain Scales and Non-pharmacologic Interventions in Pediatric Patients at a Non-children’s Hospital Emergency Department

Purpose: Pain in pediatric patients may be poorly managed in non-pediatric emergency departments (ED). The purpose of this project was to develop, test, and evaluate an online educational program regarding pediatric pain assessment and management and determine the effect on registered nurses (RNs) knowledge and practices.

Methods: This project used a quasi-experimental, one-group, pretest-posttest design. Eligible participants included RNs who work in the ED and provide nursing care to pediatric patients at a central Florida hospital. The self-paced educational program included peer-reviewed information regarding pediatric pain assessment and management. Evaluation of nurse knowledge and practices were examined using the Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain tool and four investigator-created survey questions. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze results.

Results: Four participants completed the educational program and pre-, post-, and 2-month surveys. The mean score decreased immediately after completing the educational program, yet increased at the 2-month time point (pre- M=91.83 vs. post-M=88.31 vs 2-month M=96.65). Higher scores indicate greater knowledge and attitudes regarding pediatric pain. At 2-months, four nurses reported using three or fewer validated pain scales, and one nurse reported using one new pain scale. At 2-months, all four nurses reported using four or more validated interventions, while one began using a new intervention from the program.

Discussion: This project speaks to the nurse knowledge gaps regarding pediatric pain scales and non-pharmacologic interventions, although there were several limitations to the project’s evaluation.

Conclusions: Due to the small sample size, this project cannot conclude that an educational program positively impacts nurse knowledge and practices of pediatric pain assessment and management. Further research of nurse knowledge and practices after administering an educational program could help determine whether an educational program may be an effective intervention for health organizations to improve nurse knowledge and practices regarding pediatric pain scales and non-pharmacologic interventions.

Major Professor: Jessica Bahorski, PhD, APRN, PPCNP-BC, WHNP-BC






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