Nurse-administered analgesic treatments take up a considerable amount of staff time. It has been reported that for on-demand oral analgesia, nearly 11 mins of staff time is taken up per dose.1

Changes in work processes for medication administration could increase efficiency and save nursing time.2 To give one example: patient-controlled analgesia eliminates the need for staff to personally administer each dose of analgesia.. It is therefore less personnel-intensive than oral on-demand analgesia.3

Staff time required per patient



1 Choinière M et al. Effi cacy and costs of patient-controlled analgesia versus regularly administered intramuscular opioid therapy. Anesthesiology. 1998; 89: 1377-1388.
2 Hendrich A et al. A 36-hospital time and motion study: how do medical-surgical nurses spend their time? Perm J. 2008; 12: 25-34.
3 Pizzi LJ et al. Nursing time study for the administration of a PRN oral analgesic on an orthopaedic postoperative unit. Pain Manag Nurs. 2014; 15: 603-8.


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