Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute

RN Pain Study

Does a brief, nurse-initiated therapeutic conversation improve patient satisfaction with acute pain management in the emergency department compared to standard care?

Pain is the most common reason why patients come to the emergency department (ED). Previous studies have estimated that at least 50% of patients come to the ED with a main complaint related to pain. Despite this, we know the management of patient pain within the ED setting is poor. The way patients experience pain is quite variable from person to person. Factors such as history of pain, anxiety, individual pain threshold and uncertainty about what is causing the pain all contribute to perception of pain severity.

SREMI is providing research support to a group of our ED nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital to complete an RN initiated and driven randomized controlled trial to determine if a brief, nurse-initiated, therapeutic conversation improves patient satisfaction with pain management compared to standard care for adult patients presenting to the ED with moderate to severe pain. Secondary objectives are to determine the type and total amount of analgesia given by emergency physicians and to document the initial and ED discharge pain scores. Our goal is to individualize the way we treat patients in pain and find the best way to ease their discomfort.

We believe this research has the potential to improve clinical care and satisfaction of patients, and will help develop evidence-based treatment strategies that emergency nurses and physicians may use to provide more structured care to patients with moderate to severe acute pain in the ED.