The main purpose of this quantitative case study was to explore the perceptions, knowledge and attitudes of Iranian nursing students towards pain (Rahimi-Madiseh et al, 2010).
The study was carried out to quantify the current knowledge and attitudes of nursing students in Iran about pain management and its proposition for education (Rahimi-Madiseh et al, 2010).
Apparently, the research questions which guided the study can be stated as follows: 1) The knowledge of the nursing students about pain and its management; 2) The students’ perceptions towards pain and its management; and finally, 3) how the knowledge and attitudes towards pain and its management has affected the nursing care of patients.
From the look of this, the findings of the study in this research were anticipated to support at least one of hypotheses which were postulated having their basis on the questions of research. 1) Pain management is an important aspect of nursing practice; 2) The knowledge about pain management changes the conventional manner of nursing care of patients; and 3) The knowledge and attitudes towards pain management will bring improvement of quality and safety outcomes for patients or patient populations.
Pain management in nursing care of patients was a representation of the independent variable whereas the knowledge and attitudes of the students towards pain management represented the dependent variable.
Conceptual Model\Theoretical Framework
Initially, the pain management was put in place to address an identified problem for professional nursing care of patients (Furrow, 2002). Coming to the knowledge of the perception of the practitioners of nursing regarding pain management would be very crucial in making information available required for change in education and thereby making the concept of pain management well accepted. Pain management in nursing contributes a lot in promoting the welfare of the patient. Some of the failures realized in nursing have largely been contributed by lack of enough knowledge and wrong attitudes towards pain management.
Review of Related Literature
The review of the literature shows the absence of information on the perception of the nursing students concerning pain management, and the knowledge and attitude therein expected to result job satisfaction. Modern learning institutions of nursing do not have enough knowledge and information concerning the perception of their students on pain and its management as within the running of nursing practice (Furrow, 2002). This lack of understanding and misguided perceptions has cost many healthcare organizations a lot in providing their services effectively.
The study indicated a quantitative, non-experimental design of correlation as the appropriate way of addressing the research questions. A quantitative co-relational approach design was suitable in making sure that the direction and the level of connection between these variables existed without being disturbed (Creswell, 2003). Internal validity of the study design could have been threatened by the possibility of having untruthful and inaccurate reactions, the absence of the ability of seeking clarifications in the event that the participant will be stuck on the way, and the absence of flexibility in the items the participant was expected to respond to. On the other hand, the external validity of the study could be vulnerable in the event that causality claims emerge. Again, outward influences related to bias of researcher could also be a threat to the study design.
Sample and Setting
The population sample and setting from which participants were selected from was a group of nursing students from two schools in Iran (Rahimi-Madiseh et al, 2010). Sampling assisted in ensuring that there was enough representation of the members of the student fraternity. A huge sample was utilized to lessen the effects of these threats posed on internal validity. The setting was appropriate for this study because the pain management is an indispensable aspect of nursing when the students go into real practice in the future after accomplishing their studies. It was important at this level in order to establish their knowledge and attitude and make necessarily changes before the students could be released out in the field to practice.
The extraneous variables took into account factors of demography, which included the level of study and work experience in hospital. Other demographic factors taking into account gender and age were all examined in connection with the concept of pain management and the level of understanding and attitude towards it. Random assignment on a huge sample is a great tool as it equalizes between groups in an effort of reducing the amount of errors that are facilitated by these extraneous variables (Creswell, 2003).
A lot of caution was exercised in phrasing the questions for the purposes of coming up with a clear and complete succinct instrument with the ability to attain high rates of response and eliminate biases and errors during processing and completion. The instrument incorporated the appropriate theoretical framework, or included a significant part of it following an important hierarchy of needs. This instrument of survey was appropriate as it provided a way of gathering data which is quantifiable on such matters like the knowledge and attitude of nursing students towards pain and its management (Rahimi-Madiseh et al, 2010).
Data Collection Methods
A surveying instrument provided a lot of benefits in studies which were based on communication where the perceptions of people who are measured (Creswell, 2003). A cross-sectional design of survey gave the ability to make a groups’ comparison, establish existing attitudes and the evaluation of knowledge concerning pain management practice. The study took possible risks and benefits and not putting aside the right of all the participants. An explanation to these prospective participants sufficed the efforts applied in protecting their rights.
Data Analysis Procedure
Each and every higher category or level was indicative of a progressively higher degree of pain and its management in nursing as understood and viewed by the Iranian nursing students. Thus, this analysis was helpful in providing unbiased opinions. The analysis of the data gathered incorporated a bi-variate correlational statistics in testing all the study hypotheses (Rahimi-Madiseh et al, 2010). It was possible to establish if the scores of the population were normally distributed and therefore the right hypothesis confirmed on this basis.
Strengths and Limitations
The two major strengths of the scientific merit of this study are its significance at the educational level that is needed to emphasize proper knowledge and attitude towards pain and its management amongst nursing students in coordinating direct care activities as a “clinical decision-makers and nursing practitioners” in general and secondly, the idea that the client’s care outcomes are the measure of quality practices. The limitation on this study could be realized in the fact that only tow schools were used and could not give a full representation of the Iranian nursing students. Again, the generalization of the results form the study could be hampered by the sample taken from graduates. The results of the study could only be valid in a situation whereby all the extraneous variables have been addressed by taking a random sample from a large population. The translation of the questionnaire to other languages like Persian could distort the questions and introduce some errors in the answers. The study findings are practical for use in bed side care practice and in preparing nursing students to be good at pain management.
Pain management in nursing plays a very imperative role in promoting the excellence which the profession needs. Enough knowledge and developing a positive attitude towards pain management are important while dealing with the patient in a situation where there is need to alleviate the pain of patients and their families. This will greatly enhance development and efficiency amongst the future nursing staff. This research highlights on the much needed communication tackling on the establishment of the pain management role in learning, research, and application in the development of the nursing profession.