How nurses learn to assess pain levels in infants

Adults self-report their pain on a one to 10 numerical score, while children can point to an equivalent face scale — from a green smiling face to a red crying face — to indicate their pain. Newborns, however, cannot say a number or point to a face, leaving it up to their caregivers to identify and evaluate any pain they may be in. Until the turn of this century, a significant number of clinicians did not recognize that neonates could even experience pain, resulting in infrequent, nonstandard training for medical workers. Now, researchers are reporting that a flexible e-learning program improves neonate pain management knowledge and skills for nurses.