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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Kay Foland


pain nursing, pain treatment, postoperative pain, nursing assessment


The purposes of this study were to determine how pain is being assessed and documented by nurses caring for surgical patients at a rural Midwestern hospital and to describe the difference in nursing assessment and documentation of surgical patient pain before and after an education program on pain management. Guided by Loeser's model of pain, as modified by Paice, Mahon, and Faut-Callahan (1991), a retrospective chart review was utilized to collect data from two groups of patients. The first group was comprised of 60 patients who underwent surgery prior to implementation of a staff education program on pain management. The second group of 60 patients underwent surgery after the implementation of the staff education program. Chart reviews revealed that pain was being assessed and documented inconsistently. However, overall nursing assessment and documentation of pain showed small yet important improvements between the periods of time represented by the two groups.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Pain -- Nursing.
Pain -- Treatment.
Postoperative pain.
Nursing assessment.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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