Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Mary Verklan


Every year thousands of patients in the United States undergo cardiothoracic surgery. These patients have high levels of anxiety because they do not know what to expect. At the same time, many nurses on the cardiac telemetry/surgical floor are not aware that effective preoperative teaching can make a significant difference in patients' outcomes; thus, nurses had focused on postoperative teaching. The purpose of this project was to develop a preoperative teaching program through which nurses could help patients undergoing open heart surgery. The mentioned above practice initiative used Neuman's systems model as a framework. The project used a before-and-after design: Data were analyzed by comparing the results of preeducational and posteducational questionnaires. The goal of the program was to increase the level of knowledge of the nurses about preoperative education to a minimum of 90% correct answers. The findings showed that the knowledge of the nurses who attended the 1st educational intervention session increased from a baseline score of 87% to a posttest score of 95%, and the knowledge of the nurses who attended the 2nd session increased from a baseline score of 90% to a posttest score of 100%. The educational intervention also helped to improve communication between nurses and patients, and consequently, the quality of care. This project has implications for positive social change: The nurses' improved knowledge led to improved patient education, decreased patient anxiety and fear of the unknown, increased compliance with postoperative instructions, improved satisfaction with treatment, and positive postoperative outcomes.

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