Literature Searches

Literature Searches

          Nursing is a field filled with numerous policies and procedures.  To understand these policies and procedures, the practice of research and knowledge acquisition is essential.  The method of incorporating proper research into daily practice is called evidence-based practice (Polit & Beck, 2017).  The goal of using evidence-based practice is to move away from traditions and ritual by incorporating tested research evidence that supports clinical practices (Polit & Beck, 2017).

Summary of Article Search

            Based on the evidence hierarchy by Polit & Beck (2017), and the levels of evidence presented in class I was able to evaluate research articles (Walden University, 2018).  When looking for specific research for my topic, I searched for the highest level of evidence.  There are three types of research which are: primary, synthesized or secondary, and others such as expert opinions or practice questions (Polit & Beck, 2017). 

            My PICOT question is: In patients with acute pain in the emergency department, what is the effect of Ketamine use for the reduction of pain compared to opioid medications during their ED visit? To begin the search, I used the keywords Ketamine, analgesia, sedation and emergency medicine.  Using these words, I was able to find 408 results.  I further limited my search to ten years which yielded 297 results.  Finally, I used systematic reviews, meta-analysis and randomized control trials (RCTs) for my final search narrowing the articles to 111.  Upon examination of the articles, I found the articles based on systematic reviews, meta-analysis and RCTs provided detailed research including abstracts, methods of trials, results, discussion, limitations, and conclusion.  Each of these sections specifies the purpose of the study in detail. 

          Using this framework for literature review ensures relevant research is used to answer evidence seeking questions.  Davies (2011) comments, “detailed knowledge of the frameworks enables the searcher to refine strategies to suit each particular situation rather than trying to fit a search situation to a framework” (p. 79).  By using a timeframe such as the past ten years, it is easier to see the relevance of the information to clinical practice today.  An active literature search will yield the most appropriate information for the question being posed.


Davies, K. S. (2011). Formulating the evidence-based practice question: a review of the frameworks. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice6(2), 75-80. Retrieved from

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Walden University Library. (2018). Levels of evidence. Retrieved from


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