Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Researchers have demonstrated the impact that SSIs have on the healthcare system and the need to improve patient outcomes. The purpose of this project was to develop an educational program for the 8-member nursing staff of an outpatient vascular surgical office to help reduce the occurrence of SSI rates for patients seen pre and postoperatively after a noted increase in SSI rates at this clinical setting. Guided by the Fitzpatrick model, a group of 6 health care providers comprising 3 surgeons and 3 nurse practitioners served as content experts to conduct formative evaluation during development of the educational program. Members of the surgical office nursing staff completed a questionnaire; results were analyzed using descriptive analysis. Findings indicated that 100% of nursing staff had no on-site work training on basic signs and symptoms of infection and infection control; 100% of staff were not confident in assessment of the surgical site and addressing patient issues; and at least 50% reported that they lacked knowledge of proper wound care including bathing, dressing changes, and expected symptoms for healing and/or complications postoperatively. Educational materials were designed to address these gaps. This project might benefit the surgical center nursing staff by providing education to help reduce surgical site infection in vascular patients, and bring about positive social change by improving quality of life and patient outcomes for the vascular surgery patient through a reduction in the occurrence of SSIs.