Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Acute rehabilitation hospitals assist brain injury patients and families who face a life- changing event to achieve greater independence and quality of life. During the acute rehabilitation phase of recovery, care is focused on the patient; however, there is a nationwide movement to implement patient- and family-centered care because caregivers experience grief and uncertainty about how to care for their loved one during hospitalization and upon discharge. The purpose of this staff education project was to educate rehabilitation staff on how to identify and to meet the needs of family members of brain injury patients in an acute rehabilitation center in the western United States. The patient- and family-centered care theoretical framework and Knowles's theory of adult learning supported the development and implementation of the educational program. The project site stakeholders identified educational opportunities to assist staff to meet caregiver needs and improve outcomes. Thirty-two staff including registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, patient care technicians, and nurse managers, received education for the support of caregivers for patients with brain injuries. The program was evaluated using a 5-point Likert type questionnaire. After receiving the education all participants agreed or strongly agreed that content increased their knowledge, skills, and confidence in caring for family caregivers of brain injury patients. Implications of this project for social change include the potential to improve patient outcomes through caregiver knowledge and skills to provide care to patients with brain injury.