Practice of Pain Assessment in Critically Ill Patients among Nurses at the Tamale Teaching Hospital

Abstract – Nurses have the greatest responsibility of assessing critical care patient’s pain, as they are the most proximal in care, they continuously make decisions relating to the patient’s pain intensity, and assess the need for analgesia. It is therefore essential that nurses acquaint themselves with the basic principles and practices of pain assessment. This will ensure that patients especially the critically ill one are relieved of any form of discomfort caused by pain. The overall purpose of the study was to explore nurses’ knowledge and practices on pain assessment of critically ill patients. A convenient non-probability sampling method was used to sample 100 nurse participants from five different wards from the Tamale Teaching Hospital for the study. A self-administered questionnaire was used for the data collection. The data was analysed using SPSS Version 20 and the results presented in the form of frequency tables and charts. The study revealed that 60% of the nurses were of the view that the patient provided the most accurate rating of their pain intensity. Majority (87%) of the nurses reported they assess pain among patients who were able to report pain. However, 59% reported that they did not use any pain assessment tools. Sixty percent (64%) seldom used pain assessment tool for patients whilst 23% uses it sometimes. More than half of the participants representing 57% reported that pain assessment scores were not discussed during nurse-to-nurse report with 73% indicating that pain scores and management were discussed during ward rounds. There is a huge gap between the nurses’ knowledge regarding pain assessment in critically ill patients and the practice of pain assessment using standard protocols and tools hence there is a need to design and adopt a standard tool for all hospitals in Ghana.

Keywords: practices, pain assessment, critically ill

Cite as: Imoro, M. A. (2019). Practice of Pain Assessment in Critically Ill Patients among Nurses at the Tamale Teaching Hospital. Diverse Journal of Multidisciplinary Research: Vol. 1, Issue 1, Pages 1-6, October 2019.