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Monitoring Sedation in Patients Receiving Opioids for Pain Management

Smith, Anne MSN, RN-BC; Farrington, Michele BSN, RN, CPHON; Matthews, Grace MSN, RN-BC

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000059
Articles

Excessive sedation precedes opioid-induced respiratory depression. An evidence-based practice project standardized systematic sedation monitoring by nurses using an opioid sedation scale and respiratory assessment when opioids are administered for pain management. Nurses were educated and documentation updated. Nurses demonstrated increased ability to identify at-risk patients (3.2 pre-implementation; 3.6 post-implementation; 1-4 Likert scale) and reported understanding the tool to assess for oversedation (2.6 pre-implementation; 3.2 post-implementation). Documentation compliance improved, and patient safety was maintained.

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Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa.

Correspondence: Michele Farrington, BSN, RN, CPHON, Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Dr, RM T100 GH, Iowa City, IA 52242 (michele-farrington@uiowa.edu).

The authors thank Chris Pasero, Kim Jordan, Joseph Greiner, Deb Bruene, and Renee Gould for project participation, support, and manuscript assistance.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jncqjournal.com).

Accepted for publication: February 18, 2014

Published Online before Print: March 28, 2014

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins