College of Arts and Sciences
Male circumcision is a controversial medical procedure routinely practiced in the United States. Once performed only as a religious act, this minor surgery became fashionable in the late nineteenth century. In modern society, circumcision remains popular, but the medical community continues to debate its necessity. Perhaps a larger debate concerns the use of anesthetics and analgesics in circumcision. Infants do feel pain, and pain relief measures are imperative during this procedure. Several effective methods have been established, and practice must accommodate the updated evidence. If pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic measures are employed appropriately, neonatal circumcision can be performed with minimal trauma to the infant. This knowledge is vital for nurses, who will be responsible for providing many of these essential interventions.