Pain Management Nurses’ Roles During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Timothy Joseph Sowicz, Mitchell R. Knisely, Staja Q. Booker, Jinbing Bai, Anitha Saravanan, Barbara St Marie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Millions of people globally have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It's impact on pain management nurses roles’ remains unknown. Aims: To explore role changes among pain management nurses performing patient care during the Covid-19 pandemic. Design: Qualitative descriptive research study. Settings: The American Society for Pain Management Nursing's listserv, E-News Brief postings, and snowball sampling. Participants/Subjects: English-speaking registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses who provided direct patient care since 2020 were eligible. Method: Data were collected through individual, semi-structured telephone interviews. An interview guide was used and included questions about participants’ characteristics and the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on their roles in clinical work. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: A homogenous sample of eighteen nurses from the United States was interviewed. Their normal roles, roles during the pandemic, and surges in patients with Covid-19 as the condition for role changes emerged from their descriptions. Most participants did not experience significant changes in their normal roles, but all described how their normal functions were impacted by the pandemic. Conclusions: As the infectious variants of this disease evolve or other disastrous conditions occur, further changes to roles may occur. The skill sets of pain management nurses, including understanding assessment of pain across the lifespan, administration of opioids and multimodal analgesia, monitoring of patients, and communicating by educating and consultations, reinforce the significant contribution pain management nurses have as valued team members in times of crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalPain Management Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Covid-19
  • Nurse's Role
  • Pain
  • Qualitative Research
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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