The studies recommend improvements in the knowledge and experience of nurses in pain management as well as future studies on effective pain management covering a larger population. These studies would help improve the evidence base on the subject matter.
Review of Related Literature: This chapter shall provide a review of relevant literature. First, it will present a rationale to the literature review and then establish the questions that this review will answer. The aims and objectives of this review shall also be established. Background/Rationale to Literature Review Pain is one of the most disturbing symptoms which any person can feel. Regardless of its intensity, duration, or location, it can impact on an individual’s psychological and physical well-being (Yildirim, et.al., 2008). During the post-operative period, pain is a common complaint or symptom for patients. Such pain can further increase the impact of the surgery and can sometimes delay the patient’s physical and emotional recovery (Van Hulle, 2005). Nurses have the unenviable task of ensuring the consistent and effective management of post-operative pain. Their role during this time involves the assessment of pain levels, the administration of pain medications, and providing emotional support for the patients (Textor and Porock, 2006). As nurses, they also have the duty of notifying the doctors about significant changes in the patient’s condition, mostly in relation to unrelieved pain or pain which manifests with other symptoms including fever, decreased or increased heart rate, unrelieved severe and continuous pain, as well as bleeding at the incision site (Plaisance and Logan, 2006). Based on these significant considerations, pain management is a crucial element in ensuring effective post-operative care. The nurses administering skills therefore have to have the right skills, interventions, and knowledge to ensure effective post-operative care (Ferrell and McCaffery, 2008). This topic was chosen because there is a need to study gaps in the nursing management of post-operative care, including new and possibly more effective means of pain management (Lui, et.al., 2008). This topic was chosen now because nurses have become more and more involved in the management of post-operative care patients and there is a need to evaluate and improve their efficacy in pain management (Matthews and Malcolm, 2007). I am personally interested in this area because I consider this an area which is highly specialized and any skills I can learn through evidence-based practice can also help me improve my practice. It relates to my practice because I work in the post-operative care unit and I have personally encountered an instance when the patient manifested severe pain after surgery and I reached a point when I became doubtful of the efficacy of my skills as a nurse in managing the patient’s symptom. This literature review can help me establish evidence-based practice on effective post-operative management of pain (McCaffery, 2002). It can also help improve the nursing practice, most especially post-operative nursing care. The delivery of pain relief to patients is also an important benefit for this literature review as it ensures that the pain relief measures would refer to patient-centered and evidence-based care (Joint Commission Resources, 2010). Research Question: This literature review will help to answer the question: What are the barriers for nurses in managing post-operative pain? Aim This review will review studies discussing the barriers encountered by nurses in post-operative pai