Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Cathleen Colleran-Santos


The emerging health care culture of accountability for patient outcomes compounds problems for already overwhelmed clinicians struggling to fit everything entailed in complicated office visits into 15-minute appointments. Unprocessed frustrations tempt clinicians to use ineffective and outdated methods for trying to get their patients to comply or adhere to their care plans, undermining effective health care management. The intention of this project was to evaluate whether educating medical assistants in the health coaching method of motivational interviewing can improve the patient care approach while simultaneously assisting clinicians struggling with insufficient time. Several individual scheduling conflicts limited the target population into two primary care medical assistants and two auxiliary primary care office staff who voluntarily chose to learn the new approach. Guided by the adult learning theory, an educational lecture project was designed to capture the spirit of motivational interviewing through basic descriptions and strategies that will assist learners to focus on person-centered conversation skills, helping to balance both the needs of the patient and clinician. Following the education, participants filled out an anonymous post-lecture evaluation questionnaire to provide immediate feedback about learner understanding. Responses indicated the project met its stated objectives, and results showed the versatility of the motivational interviewing method which can be learned and effectively applied by health care workers from a wide range of professional backgrounds. Motivational interviewing is an innovative approach that utilizes therapeutic communication to promote behavior changes that lead to improved health of our communities and country.