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emergency nursing, nurse, pain, pain management



  1. Hamalainen, Jenni MScN, RN
  2. Kvist, Tarja PhD, RN
  3. Koota, Elina PhD, RN
  4. Kankkunen, Paivi PhD, RN


Aim: This study aimed to describe registered nurses' perceptions of acute pain management in emergency departments.


Design: The study design was a cross-sectional survey carried out in accordance with Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines. One hundred one nurses from 5 different emergency departments participated in the survey.


Methods: Data were analyzed using descriptive methods, nonparametric tests, and principal component analysis.


Results: Continuing education was significantly related to pain management. Nurses who had received continuing pain management education thought more often that challenges in pain management impact patients' acute pain management than those who had not received education. Nurses reported that patients received inadequate pain medication. The most used nonpharmacological methods were ice therapy and postural care. The nurses reported that music and conversation with the patient ameliorated the patients' acute pain. Nurses stated that their lack of knowledge concerning pain management and workload affected their acute pain management.


Conclusion: Study results emphasize the need to develop ongoing pain management education for registered nurses and in addition to further research of nonpharmacological alleviation method in emergency departments.