Pediatric nurses' postoperative pain management practices: An observational study

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This study was an in-depth examination of pediatric postoperative pain care.

Design and Methods

Participant observational data were collected on the care of 10 children. Particular attention was paid to actions when pain scores were ≥5 and to the relationship between pain scores and medications administered.


A pattern of care emerged of giving pain medications regularly even if they were prescribed pro re nata. Actions when pain scores were ≥5 varied. Recorded pain scores rarely guided treatment choices.

Practice Implications

The use of pain scores to guide treatment choices needs further debate. Future research should explore the implications of divorcing treatment from pain scores on children's pain experience.

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