Date of Submission

Summer 7-28-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

First Advisor

Alexa Curtis

Second Advisor

Jodi Sandhu


Only 50% of pediatric patients presenting with significant pain receive any form of analgesia while in the emergency department (ED). The American College of Emergency Physicians endorses the use of triage protocols to improve the speed and consistency of analgesia in the ED. However, given the unique needs of the pediatric population insufficient evidence exists, if any, to support the use of triage protocols for their treatment in the ED. After a review of the literature it is concluded that triage pain protocols are a safe and effective method for providing pediatric analgesia in the ED. However, the variability in protocol design and use across facilities raises concern for the potential success or failure of protocol use related to individualized implementation practices. In addition, the review identified a sample bias in the overall literature, with the vast majority of data originating from urban academic centers, and only 1.03% originating from a rural setting. Further research is needed to identify the causative factors leading to this bias.