Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Nurses' ability to recognize and respond to postoperative patients who require emergent medical care and need immediate assistance during a code blue in the first 10 minutes is essential to improve patient outcomes. This is particularly important for the project site, a 44-bed inpatient surgical specialty hospital located in the Northeast, providing care for patients with head and neck cancer, as the hospital does not have an internal code blue response team. An adjacent facility responds to all code blue emergencies and takes approximately 10 minutes for the team to respond. The purpose of this DNP project was to develop an evidence based, theory supported educational effort using a rapid response in-situ simulation program with 2 simulation scenarios specific to the patient population. As a first step in the DNP project, 2 simulation scenarios were developed and then evaluated by a panel of 4 expert nurse educators using a modified National League of Nursing/Jeffries Simulation Design Scale. The qualitative evaluation the expert nurse educators provided strengthened the simulation design for each simulation scenario. The revised simulation scenarios, respiratory distress/pulseless electrical activity, and the postoperative patient with unstable hemodynamics, as part of the education rapid response in-situ simulation program, have the potential to improve the nurse's ability to recognize early warning signs of respiratory distress and hemodynamic instability from postoperative complications. The simulation program has the potential for positive social change by empowering the nurses to provide quality patient care and improve patient outcomes during a code blue event.