Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Cathleen Colleran-Santos


Emergence delirium (ED), also known as emergence agitation, is a postoperative condition characterized by aberrant cognitive and psychomotor behaviors following general anesthesia. The incidence of ED is 3 to 8 times higher in children 5 years of age or less. There is no standard of nursing practice for managing ED symptoms in the pediatric surgical population. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to address a gap in knowledge needed to inform clinical decision-making when managing ED in the postoperative setting. Using an educational presentation for post anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurses, this project introduced the use of non-pharmacological interventions to mitigate symptoms of ED in the pediatric population as inspired by The Green Star Initiative, an Army program at Fort Carson. The project aim was to describe the effectiveness of ED-specific interventions from the nursing perspective. Using tenets of the Iowa model, this quality improvement project included a needs assessment survey, PowerPoint presentation, parent education leaflet, ED cheat sheet, and a post-intervention survey. Applying the context, input, process, product model for evaluation, this project increased knowledge of ED-specific interventions used by nurses that demonstrates a change in clinical decision-making. PACU nurses rated the interventions 43% effective on pediatric patients. This project addressed the gap in practice by providing structured education on ED, inspiring the use of ED-specific interventions, and promoting readiness to care for the pediatric surgical population. Outcomes add to the nursing literature by introducing ED-specific interventions to manage pediatric ED in facilities nationwide. A social implication of this project is to improve the care of pediatric surgical patients.