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Training Pain Resource Nurses: Changes in Their Knowledge and Attitudes

Susan C. McMillan
Mary Tittle
Susan J. Hagan
Brent J. Small
ONF 2005, 32(4), 835-842 DOI: 10.1188/05.ONF.835-842

Purpose/Objectives: To determine the changes in knowledge and attitudes of pain resource nurses (PRNs) as a result of an intensive pain management course.

Design: Pre- and post-test design.

Setting: A Veterans Administration hospital in the southeastern United States.

Sample: 18 RNs from multiple units where care is provided for veterans with cancer.

Methods: The PRNs were tested before and after a 32-hour intensive pain management course.

Main Research Variables: Knowledge about pain management, attitudes toward pain management, and attitudes toward patients in pain.

Findings: Significant improvements were found in pain knowledge and attitudes toward patients in pain. Improvements in attitudes toward pain management approached significance.

Conclusions: The improvements in scores not only supported the effectiveness of the course but also provided additional evidence of the validity of the assessment instruments.

Implications for Nursing: Courses such as this should be offered in other settings to encourage practicing nurses to provide better care to patients in pain and to serve as role models for their peers.

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