Objectives: The study was carried out to investigate the use of nonpharmacological methods in pain management of nurses working in surgical units and the factors affecting their use.
Material and methods: The study was a descriptive research and performed in the surgical units of a university hospital.
Methods: The population number of study consisted of 210 nurses working in the surgical units. Forty-two nurses from the population numbers were excluded for lack of interest in participation and for differences in shift hours. The sample number of the study was 168 nurses (consisting 80% of the population number).
Results: When the nurses experienced pain, they reported that 75% took analgesics, 66.7% rested and 46.4% slept. It was reported that 53% of the nurses preferred priority Nonpharmacological Pain Methods (NPM) when they experienced pain, but 92.9% of them preferred priority NPM when their patients experienced pain. Of this same group, 47% stated to use NPM before the analgesics were given to the patients. 97.6% stated they had received no post-graduate training in the use of NPM, and 69.6% claimed only a moderate level of
knowledge concerning the use of NPM. NPM that the nurses often did not use to relieve their patients’ pain were acupressure (95.8%), TENS (92.3%), meditation (91.1%), or aromatherapy (89.9%). NPM that the nurses always used to relieve their patients’ pain were cold application (21.4%), consultancy (59.5%), and relaxation exercises (9.5%). The factors preventing and challenging the nurses to use non-pharmacological methods were excessive work load (86.3%), desire to control pain quickly (78%), and lack patient confidence in NPM effects (58.9%). As the education level of the nurses increased, the level of knowledge about NPM was found to increase (p<0.05).
Conclusion: It was found that the nurses did not use NPM very often in pain management.