Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Primary Minor


Second Minor


Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN


Pain management among the critically ill population is a significant issue in the intensive care setting. Whether the pain is acute or chronic, nurses tend to be the first-hand responders to help with pain management in the intensive care unit (ICU). With barriers ranging from patients’ inability to verbalize pain to nurses’ experience with obstacles to assessment such as sedation, confusion, or other concerns, pain management is a serious issue. Although pharmacological interventions such as opioids and analgesics help with pain control, in this thesis, we will focus on the impact of nonpharmacological and psychological nursing interventions and how it helps critically ill patients in the intensive care setting by reducing pain levels.

The main subtopics included in this paper that will be explored include:

  • The Patient’s Memory and Recollection from their experience with the ICU

  • Patient’s and ICU Nurses’ Perspectives on Nonpharmacological Interventions, and

  • Hands-on Nonpharmacological and Psychological Interventions that consist of music therapy, massages, and family presence/support.

This topic and these subtopics will be explored in the review of this literature and the proposal of this paper.