Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Sue Bell


According to an evaluation completed by the local health department in the state where the project was conducted, patients were not returning to the emergency department (ED) for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) rabies vaccine as recommended. Educating the ED providers on care, who are usually the first point of contact after an animal bite with possible rabies virus transmission, is critical to improving patients' outcomes secondary to rabies postexposure. The focused for this project is educating ED personnel about rabies PEP administration after rabies virus exposure which will their increase knowledge regarding rabies follow-up care. Lewin's change theory provided the theoretical support for the project, which consisted of an educational PowerPoint or summary handout to ED staff members concerning the treatment recommendations for rabies postexposure. A pretest and posttest were used to measure knowledge of the 50 participants before and after the education. More than 75% of personnel (physicians, nurse practitioners, the physician assistant, emergency room nurses) were unable to answer Question 1 correctly, 50% of the ED personnel were unable to answer Question 2 correctly, and answers by all personnel were incorrect on Questions 3-10. After the education, all personnel answered all questions correctly. Thus, the education addressed the gap in ED personnel's knowledge that may have contributed to the lack of patients' adherence to rabies PEP treatment. Better rabies follow-up treatment education can impact social change by improving provider knowledge to facilitate accurate health care teaching by ED personnel and encourage subsequent compliance of patients with evidence-based recommendations for rabies PEP to prevent unnecessary deaths.