Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Obesity is a public health issue linked to high morbidity and mortality among critically ill patients. There are approximately 15.5 million morbidly obese adults in the United States. The purpose of the project was to develop and implement an educational program using evidence-based protocols for bariatric care to educate nurses and caregivers regarding best practices when attending to obese patients. The practice-focused question examined whether learning about evidence-based bariatric care would improve the knowledge of nurses and caregivers caring for morbidly obese patients in an acute care setting. The theoretical foundation was Bandura's self-efficacy theory. A questionnaire using a Likert scale was used to collect data from the 100 participants before and after the learning intervention. The selection criteria involved the inclusion of all nurses and caregivers working at the adult in-patient unit. A paired-samples t-test was used to evaluate levels of improvement in knowledge of the causes, treatment, management, and care of patients with obesity and the challenges in caring for morbidly obese patients. The findings indicated a statistically significant increase in participants' knowledge of the causes (p < 0.000), treatment, management, and care of patients with obesity (p < 0.000) and the challenges involved in caring for morbidly obese patients after the learning intervention (p < 0.004). Thus, the implementation of an educational intervention may be effective in improving nurses' knowledge of bariatric care. The implications of the project for social change involve the improvement in nurse's knowledge of clinical guidelines, which can lead to increase in patient satisfaction, and improved overall health outcomes.