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A Retrospective Review of School Nurse Approaches to Assessing Pain

 Brenna L Quinn  ;  Seung Eun Lee  ;  Janki Bhagat  ;  David W Holman  ;  Emily A Keeler  ;  Micaela Rogal 
 PAIN MANAGEMENT NURSING, Vol.21(3) : 233-237, 2020-06 
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Background: When students with intellectual disability (ID) experience pain, the pain may limit the extent to which they may engage in school activities. Although school nurses are primarily responsible for addressing students' pain, there are many barriers to identifying pain in students with ID.

Aims: The purpose of the present study was to describe pain assessment practices of school nurses for students with and without ID.

Design: A retrospective review was conducted of 4,660 school health office visit records for elementary school students presenting to the health office with headache, stomachache, or sore throat.

Methods: Data were extracted and transcribed to a matrix. Data extracted included school grade, referral source, visit month, gender, cognitive ability, chief concern, pain assessment, external contact, and disposition. Descriptive statistics were calculated.

Results: School nurses spent more time on average addressing pain in neurotypical students than in students with ID. Neurotypical students more often presented with a teacher and were dismissed from school, but parents and guardians were contacted less often for these students, when compared to students with ID. Quantified pain ratings were documented for 1% of visits.

Conclusions: Because pain intensity ratings were rarely documented, the utility of such ratings in the school setting may be low. Alternatively, obtaining pain intensity ratings from younger children may be challenging without the use of appropriate tools. Nurses, teachers, and other staff providing education and care to students with ID may require pain training. Implementation of tools that elicit student pain information from parents/guardians in the school setting could decrease point-of-care contact during the school day and proactively provide information on unique child pain behaviors.
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3. College of Nursing (간호대학) > Dept. of Nursing (간호학과) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Lee, Seung Eun(이승은) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4173-3337
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