Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Pain is the most common reason that patients come to the emergency department. Emergency nurses have an indispensable role in the management of this pain. AIM: The aim of this study was to examine emergency nurses' knowledge, attitude and clinical decision-making skills about pain. METHODS: This descriptive study was conducted in a state and a university hospital between September and October 2012 in Malatya, Turkey. Of 98 nurses working in the emergency departments of these two hospitals, 57 returned the questionnaires. The response rate was 58%. Data were collected using the Demographic Information Questionnaire, Knowledge and Attitude Questionnaire about Pain and Clinical Decision Making Survey. Frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation were used to evaluate data. RESULTS: 75.4% of participant nurses knew that patients' own statement about their pain was the most reliable indicator during pain assessment. Almost half of the nurses believed that patients should be encouraged to endure the pain as much as possible before resorting to a pain relief method. The results also indicate that most of nurses think that a sleeping patient does not have any pain and pain relief should be postponed as it can influence the diagnosis negatively. It is determined that the pain scale was not used frequently. Only 35.1% of nurses reported keeping records of pain. CONCLUSION: Despite all the recommendations of substantial past research the results of this study indicate that emergency nurses continue to demonstrate inadequate knowledge, clinical decision-making skills and negative attitudes about pain.
Keywords: Clinical Competence/*standards; *Clinical Decision-Making; Emergency Nursing/*standards; Emergency Service, Hospital/trends; Female; *Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Humans; Male; Pain Management/*methods/standards; Surveys and Questionnaires; Attitude; Clinical decision-making; Emergency; Knowledge; Nurse; Pain; Skills