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Assessment of Knowledge and Implementation of an Educational Series for CICU RN’s

Jacqueline Brewer


Jennifer Priziola


S. Allen

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Conference: 2011 PH Professional Network Symposium

Release Date: 09.22.2011

Presentation Type: Abstracts

J Brewer, RN, J Priziola, PharmD, S Allen, DO, 
Beaumont Health System, Troy, MI

PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to: 1) assess prior knowledge and comfort level in regards to PAH and its treatment modalities 2) implement an educational series with didactic lecture, equipment demonstration, and testing 3) reassess knowledge and comfort level.

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and its treatment modalities are often absent from the curriculum of nursing and allied health programs. Furthermore, medical professionals, due to the rarity of PAH, do not have experience caring for these patients. The medications employed to treat PAH are high risk and can cause significant harm or even death if not properly managed. Therefore, there is a call for continual education of the multidisciplinary team including, RN's, RRT, MD's, RT's, PA's, NP's, RPh's regarding PAH and its treatment modalities.

METHODS: An anonymous online survey was administered to critical care RN's to assess initial knowledge and comfort level in caring for PAH patients. Following this survey, a mandatory education series was developed for 25 Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) RN's. The educational series included two hours of on-line training and a two hour didactic lecture. The lecture included the pathophysiology of PAH, the treatment modalities including medication safety, and case scenarios. These RNs received additional education in regards to IV and SQ prostacyclin pump education, hands on pump demonstration, and evaluation of skill in usage. Following the training a mandatory certification exam was administered requiring a passing score in order to further care for a patient on IV or SQ prostacyclin therapy. Lastly, a follow up survey was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the educational series and identify areas for additional educational opportunities.

RESULTS: The survey administered before the mandatory education series and pump demonstrations indicated that only 25% of CICU RNs identified themselves as knowledgeable and comfortable caring for PAH patients. 92% of CICU RNs attended the education series and pump demonstrations following the survey. The same survey was again administered after the educational series, pump demonstrations, and mandatory certification exam to which 100% of the CICU RNs stated they were knowledgeable and comfortable with caring for PAH patients.

IMPLICATIONS: The goal is to maintain ongoing PAH education for the CICU RN's but to also expand to include members of the multidisciplinary team to further knowledge and ensure safe administration of PAH medications. Following the survey, additional educational initiatives have included: PAH lecture added to graduate RN education and RN progressive/critical care class curriculum, mandatory lecture and certification exam for all new CICU RNs, PAH questions added to annual pharmacy and nursing competency, PAH education for nursing and pharmacy students; PAH education for pharmacy and family practice residents, mandatory quarterly pump education for CICU RNs, real time PH RN to RN education, ancillary education, and instigating the addition of PAH education to the curriculum of local universities that support nursing and allied health programs.