Purpose: A role-delineation study was conducted by the American Society of Pain Management Nurses to examine the activities performed by nurses involved in pain management.
Design: A survey was sent to nurses involved in pain management. The role-delineation survey consisted of 92 activity statements and was based on the Nursing Intervention Classifications. Frequency of performing each activity and importance of the activity were rated by respondents, and a Mean Activity Index score was calculated for each item.
Sample: As part of the sampling strategy, a random sample of 200 nurse members of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) were sent surveys. Forty-two (21%) NAON members returned completed surveys.
Findings: The activities with the highest Mean Activity Index were primarily those involving pain assessment and pharmacologic management and those relatively specific to orthopaedic patients, such as positioning to increase comfort and premedicating with analgesics before activity.
Conclusion: Orthopaedic nurses were similar to other nursing specialty groups for assessment and pharmacologic management of pain but placed more emphasis on activity management than other groups.
Implications: The results of the study will be used to refine standards of care, develop nursing education curricula, develop research priorities, and develop a blueprint for a certification examination.
Teresa A. Pellino, PhD, RN, Clinical Nurse Research Specialist, University of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics.
Joyce S. Willens, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Villanova University.
Rosemary C. Polomano, PhD, RN, FAAN, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Director of Outcomes Research, Department of Nursing, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University College of Medicine.
Mary L. Heye, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Nursing.