1. Spaulding, Heather Russell

Article Content

I am currently a senior nursing student in Maine and performing my senior partnership on a maternal child unit. Presently, I am working on a research assignment on pain management for infants. I was delighted to come across the article Cueing Into Infant Pain written by Dr. Jacqueline Fowler Byers and Ms. Kristen Thronley (MCN, 29[2], March/April 2004).


I commend the authors for posing the question, "Is pain assessed and managed appropriately by healthcare professionals today?" After observing two cases of infant male circumcision, one with both pharmacological and nonpharmacological pain management and one with only nonpharmacological pain management, I questioned the assessment and management of pain for infant male circumcisions. Throughout both procedures, the main assessment of the infant's pain was based on whether the infant cried during the procedure. After reading Dr. Byers and Ms. Thronley's article, I realized that as a novice nurse I fell into the 80% of nurses who determined infant pain based on whether the infant cried.


As a future nurse, I feel that it is my duty to advocate for those who do not have a voice. The authors stated in their conclusion that nursing care of infants should include up-to-the-minute knowledge of infant physiology and pharmacology, the use of assessment tools, knowledge of physiological and behavioral responses, and appropriate care during painful events. It is my responsibility to bring forth evidence-based research to my colleagues. Sharing this research will promote better understanding of assessment and management of infant pain; this article will assist me in taking on this responsibility.


Heather Russell Spaulding


Student Nurse, The University of Maine, Orono, Maine