Graduation Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Director of the Honors Program

Lynn Sondag, MFA

First Reader

Kathleen Beebe, RNC-OB, PhD

Second Reader

Patricia Harris, RN, PhD, CNS


Children are under assessed and under treated for pain associated with medical procedures, specifically during venipuncture. Recent studies show that procedural pain is preventable and that pain management interventions are underutilized. Failure to provide adequate pain relief can mentally and physically hurt children - in addition to inducing fear, suffering and lack of trust, exposures to pain can alter the central nervous system and increase a child’s sensitivity to pain. Pediatric nurses are responsible for assessing and managing pain before, during and after a procedure. Therefore, this review of literature and pilot study examines how registered nurses practicing in the acute care setting manage pain with pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions across the pediatric developmental spectrum during venipuncture. This quantitative descriptive exploratory pilot study was guided by the Kolcaba theory of comfort which focuses on holistic care and considers all dimensions of an individual when addressing discomfort. Based on this theory, a quantitative survey was created to obtain information regarding nurses’ perceptions and interventions related to pediatric venipuncture. Seven nurses participated be completing the survey. The literature review and pilot study reveal how nurses currently manage pain and how nursing care and pediatric procedural pain management can be improved.