Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Final DNP Paper

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner



Faculty Chair

Dr. Douglas Stephens


Background: The transition of care from the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) to the Anesthesia team in the Operating Room (OR) is a vulnerable time for patients. There is currently no formal process for the patient transitioning from the Surgical ICU to the OR. The disarray of this transition can lead to serious omissions in communication and be harmful to the patient.

Purpose: Currently, there is no formalized or universal process for handoff communication between the SICU team and the Anesthesia team. This project aimed to provide handoff education for SICU nurses when sending a patient from the OR. This project utilized the IPASS method of handoff to formalize the ICU-to-OR handoff.

Methods: The project utilized a quasi-experimental design with pre- and post-education. A sample size of 30 RNs (n=30) was obtained. The RNs were given a pre-test for baseline knowledge assessment, followed by the education and a post-test.

Results: A paired t-test was used to compare pre-and post-intervention results. There was noted to be a 40% increase in mean test scores following education of SICU RNs.

Conclusions: The IPASS method of handoff can easily be taught to SICU RNs as a means of improving bedside handoff when patients are being sent from the SICU to the OR. The data collected indicates that in-service education is an effective means of disseminating information to SICU RNs.



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