Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Andrea R. Jennings-Sanders
Palliative care (PC) is the comprehensive management of patients diagnosed with terminal illness. Care for PC patients focuses on relieving symptoms. The purpose of this study was to determine the difference between pretest and posttest scores on the Frommelt Attitude towards the Care of the Dying (FATCOD) and the Palliative Care Quiz for Nurses (PCQN) after an educational intervention to emergency department (ED) nurses. The framework for this project was Bandura's social cognitive theory. The FATCOD was used to assess ED nurses' attitudes toward PC, and the PCQN was used to assess ED nurses' knowledge about PC prior to the educational program. The educational intervention was developed using evidence obtained from the literature review and guided by the PCQN. The program presented to the ED nurses covered the essentials of palliative care and the information and skills needed by the ED nurse caring for the PC patient. The FATCOD and the PCQN were then administered as a posttest. A total of 70 nurses from two ED units volunteered to take part in the project. Results of the PCQN pre- and posttest showed a significant difference (p < .05), and the FATCOD pre- and posttest showed no significant difference (p = .849). The results revealed that education significantly improved knowledge of PC for the ED nurses participating in the project. Attitudes about PC were not significantly changed after the education program. The project promotes positive social change by raising awareness of the need for PC educational opportunities for ED nurses. By improving PC in the ED, patients and their families may experience increased satisfaction with end-of-life care and improved quality of life.