This book intends to act as a resource for those caring for children. The children I nursed who experienced pain are the stimulus for both my interest in the issue of pain and latterly in writing this book. Some of the children I cared for stand out as milestones in terms of provoking thought and in questioning practice -James, Ralph and Felicity. These children were tough and brave and taught me a lot about the human aspect of pain and suffering. However, as children, especially vulner able children in hospital, they would not have had to have been as tough or as brave if! had been more knowledgeable about practice issues such as distraction, imagery, massage and so on or had a better understanding of the complexity of pain. Nursing should add to a child's life. By developing knowledge and skills within pain management and prevention nurses are in a strong position to ensure that they, the child and their family are in control of the pain and that the pain is not in control of the child. Developing these skills is ultimately rewarding both personally and professionally and nurses should be encouraged to scrutinize their practice carefully and identify areas where improvements could be made. Listening carefully to what children and their families say about their pain and in identifying the needs of the individual child is an essential part of holistic and comprehensive nursing care.
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