Betty Bruce

Date of Graduation

Fall 2013


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Rhea Felicilda


Intravenous (IV) access is one of the most common and routine procedures that registered nurses (RNs) perform in the healthcare setting. IV catheter placement is a painful procedure often performed without comfort measures. Utilizing Fishbein and Ajzen‟s attitude model as a framework, participants were evaluated using a questionnaire developed for the purpose of this study. This quantitative descriptive correlational study was conducted in three different patient care areas in a Level 1 trauma hospital in the Midwest. Target population was a convenience sample of approximately 40 registered nurses with experience placing multiple IVs on a daily basis. The research questions for the study were: What do nurses‟ know regarding pain assessment and does that increase their ability to recognize signs that a patient may be experiencing IV procedural pain; how do nurses‟ attitudes and beliefs affect use of comfort measures for IV procedural pain; does a nurse‟s personal experience with IV insertion pain influence the type of comfort measure utilized in their clinical practice; and what are the barriers and/or challenges to providing pain or comfort management for patient‟s requiring IV access? I found the majority of nurses were knowledgeable regarding assessment of patient pain and available comfort measures for IV insertion. Nurses participating in this study were more likely to treat emotional rather than physical pain utilizing reassurance as the primary comfort measure. Further research is needed to determine why nurses are more likely to treat emotional rather than physical pain.


procedural pain, nursing, knowledge, pain control or prevention, comfort measures, intravenous catheterization, venipuncture, barriers, attitudes and beliefs

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© Betty Bruce

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