Pain affects all human beings. In our diverse world, pain management is among the primary causes for clients to seek medical attention. Culture plays a major role in pain management. Pain management is expensive and a public concern. Although there has been a focus to improve pain management over the past decade, nursing students traditionally have not been well educated regarding pain management.
This study was undertaken to examine senior baccalaureate nursing students' preparation in pain management, cultural pain management, beliefs about pain management, nursing standards for pain management, and culturally competent pain management. Additionally, this study examined the relationships among senior nursing students' experience in healthcare, their age, experience with personal pain and capacity to provide culturally competent pain management.
Of 200 senior baccalaureate nursing students from an accredited nursing program in the suburbs of New York, 182 completed the survey of quantitative items for a return rate of 91 percent. The instrument was designed by the investigator using concepts of pain management, Holistic and Transcultural nursing theory. The instrument was tested for content validity and reliability (Alpha = .67–.89).
It is important for nurses to provide appropriate pain management as well as culturally competent care. Based on national standards, nursing curricula have been infused with concepts of pain management and cultural care. Descriptive statistics used for the students' responses revealed the students thought they needed more preparation in pain management. There were no significant differences among the students that had experiences with pain or worked in the healthcare environment, nor did their age matter.
The data revealed a strong correlation with significance at the 0.01 level among the variables of preparation in pain management, preparation in cultural pain management, beliefs about and nursing standards for pain management with the dependent variable cultural competent pain management.
Through regression analysis, the strongest predictor of culturally competent pain management was preparation in cultural pain management followed by preparation in pain management and nursing standards for pain management.
The findings of this study, supported by the literature, demonstrated the need for continued emphasis in nursing education related to pain management with a specific focus on how students are prepared in pain management, cultural pain management and nursing standards for pain management to provide culturally competent pain management to patients. Improving educational preparation in pain management will benefit patient outcomes.