Using the BARF Scale to Measure Nausea

One oncology nurse developed the BARF scale so her young patients could better communicate how they were feeling.

Elizabeth Davis, B.S.N., RN, CPN, an oncology nurse at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and finalist of the 2018 Extraordinary Healer Award, explains her BARF scale to measure and more accurately treat patients’ nausea that was implemented hospital-wide.

BARF stands for Baxter Animated Retching Faces, and includes a pictorial scale of images ranging from not nauseated at all to extremely nauseated, that helps children explain to their care teams how they are feeling.