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. Serena Gramling


Dr. Ryan Cordry


Background: Surgical site infections (SSI) are the third most reported nosocomial infection causing an increased length of stay, increased healthcare cost, and a substantial increase in morbidity. A SSI is an infection developing within 30 days of surgery without using an implant and within one year of surgery utilizing any form of implant. Typically SSI occurs at the time of incision. However, poor postoperative wound care can lead to an SSI.

Purpose: This project aims to educate nursing staff on care of the total joint replacement (TJR) patient to reduce readmission rates for postoperative SSI.

Design Methods: This quality improvement project delivered education to participants during a 30-minute session. Education included the different wound dressings and associated care, SSI risks and prevention, and patient discharge education. A quasi-experimental design was utilized with pre- and post-education testing to evaluate effectiveness.

Conclusion: Comparison of the pre- and post-educational session testing revealed a substantial increase in staff knowledge of TJR patient care and associated wound dressings and care guidelines, as well as a decrease in SSI readmission rates.

Implications for Nursing: Success of the educational sessions led to this education being added to new hire orientation and yearly staff competency education.

Keywords: surgical site infection, wound care, education, evidence-based practice, NPWT, silver, sterile gauze, TJR


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