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Using Opioids With Surgical Patients

Nurses' Attitudes and Experiences

Shoqirat, Noordeen, PhD, MSc, RGN, Neuro-SN; Mahasneh, Deema, PhD, MSc, RGN; Al-Khawaldeh, Omar, PhD, MSc, RGN; Singh, Charleen, PhD, FNP-BC, CWOCN, RN

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000412

Opioids such as morphine are effective analgesics and have been recognized worldwide for many years; yet, they are underutilized. The study explores the attitudes and experiences relating to opioids, in general, and morphine, in particular, among Jordanian surgical nurses. The Opioids Attitudes Scale was used. A total of 123 questionnaires were distributed, and 120 were returned, achieving a response rate of 96%. Focus group discussions (n = 4) were conducted with surgical nurses (n = 34). The majority of nurses believe that the addiction is the most serious side effects of opioids. Qualitative analysis revealed 2 major themes. The first theme was referred to as “not being in the same boat,” highlighting a lack of teamwork, and comprised 2 subthemes: blame culture and physicians versus nurses. The second “morphine as the last on the list” was also made up of 2 subthemes: the lack of confidence and the fear of legal persecution. Nurses showed negative attitudes and misconceptions about opioids and morphine use within a fragmented surgical unit culture. Therefore, serious efforts must be made to create and sustain an effective unit culture reform and communications path from patient to nurse and doctor.

Faculty of Nursing, Mutah University, Karak, Jordan (Drs Shoqirat, Mahasneh, and Al-Khawaldeh); and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, Sacramento, California (Dr Singh).

Correspondence: Noordeen Shoqirat, PhD, MSc, RGN, Neuro-SN, Nursing Faculty, Mutah University, Karak 61710, Jordan (;

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Authors' Contribution: N.S.: Study design, analysis, and manuscript writing. D.M.: Data collection, analysis, and manuscript writing. O.K.H.: Data analysis and manuscript writing. C.S.: Manuscript writing.

Copyright © 2019 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.