Pain management the focus for Canadian-Tanzanian cooperation among nurses

Sylvie Lambert, the second recipient of the McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope Fellowship, writes:

"Starting next week, McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope and Highlands Hope of Tanzania (a network of HIV nurse-counsellors in the Makete region of Tanzania) will come together to develop a pain assessment and management education module. This first module inaugurates a series of modules that will address various educational and professional needs determined by the nurses in the Makete region. The overall purpose for the pain module is to offer a culturally pertinent information resource for the optimal assessment and management of pain. Based on the expressed interests of the nurses, the module will focus on pain management in pediatrics.

"At the outset of this project, interviews with nurses and other health care professionals will be conducted to discover and understand current perspectives on and approaches to pediatric pain assessment and management. During this time, topics that will be explored include pain knowledge and attitudes, assessment tools, and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. This phase will contribute to the sharing of our different experiences, understandings, expectations, and thoughts about pediatric pain. Accordingly, information to be included in the module will be identified and prioritized.

"Several cultural differences are expected to influence the format and content of the module (e.g., available medications) and understanding of these is required to develop a culturally responsive and relevant pain resource. However, beyond cultural differences, there exists a common professional goal of relieving pain to the best of our knowledge and skills. This sets a foundation on which we will build the education module and forge ongoing and lasting relationships.

"Once we begin to develop the module, nurses' feedback will be sought through informal conversations and group discussions. Also, formal seminars will be planned to present and disseminate the content of the education module. Nurses will work together to develop interactive educational strategies (e.g., role playing, videos).

"We are looking forward to beginning this exciting project, which will contribute to the individual and professional development of nurses in the Makete region and at McGill University."

November 8, 2007.