Virtual learning can help NICU nurses recognize baby’s pain – sciencedaily


Babies under four weeks old, called newborns, were once thought to lack pain due to not yet fully developed sensory systems, but modern research says otherwise, according to researchers at Hiroshima University. in Japan.

Not only do babies feel pain, but the different levels can be standardized to help nurses recognize and respond to babies’ cues – if nurses have the opportunity to learn the scoring tools and skills needed to respond. appropriate way. With tight schedules and limited in-person classes available, researchers theorized that virtual online learning might be able to provide nurses with a path forward to independently pursue education in this field.

To test this hypothesis, the researchers conducted a pilot study with 115 nurses with varying levels of formal training and years of experience at seven hospitals across Japan. They published their results on May 27 in Advances in neonatal care.

“Despite a growing body of knowledge and guidelines published in many countries on the prevention and management of pain in infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units, neonatal pain remains unrecognized, undertreated and generally difficult.” said article author Mio Ozawa, associate professor at the Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Hiroshima University.

Researchers have developed a comprehensive multimedia virtual program on neonatal pain management, based on selected standardized pain scales, allowing nurses to independently learn how to use measurement tools. The program, called e-Pain Management of Neonates, is the first of its kind in Japan.

“The aim of the study was to verify the feasibility of the program and whether e-learning actually improves nurses’ knowledge and grading skills,” said article author Mio Ozawa, associate professor at the Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences. “The results of this study suggest that nurses could acquire knowledge and skills on measuring neonatal pain through online learning.”

The entire cohort took a pre-test at the start of the study, before embarking on a four-week self-paced e-learning program dedicated to learning standardized pain scales for measure discomfort in babies. However, only 52 nurses completed the post-test after four weeks. For these 52, scores increased over a range of years of experience and formal education.

Ozawa noted that the sample size is small, but also said that the improvement in test scores indicates the potential of online learning.

“Future research will need to go beyond the individual level to determine what benefits are produced in the management of neonatal pain in hospitals where nurses learn neonatal pain management through online learning,” said said Ozawa. “This study demonstrates that a virtually offered neonatal pain management program can be useful in the acquisition of knowledge and skills by nurses in neonatal pain management, including appropriate use of selected scoring tools. . “

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Material provided by Hiroshima University. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.


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