Preventing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia: Educating Emergency Room Nurses
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the second most common hospital acquired infection and is primarily found in the intensive care units. The presence of an endotracheal tube is the primary risk factor for developing VAP. Many times the process of intubation occurs pre-hospital, in the emergency room (ER) or in the operating room. Ventilator associated pneumonia is associated with increased hospital stay and costs. Evidence-based guidelines have been developed to decrease the occurrence of VAP and decrease patient mortality. Preventative measures are initiated on the intensive care unit once the patient is transferred. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of an educational program on ER nurses knowledge of VAP and preventative measures to decrease VAP.
The study took place at Rhode Island Hospital, a level 1 trauma center located in Providence, RI. Participants were ER nurses who worked in the critical care area of the ER. A pre-intervention-posttest design was used to evaluate emergency room nurses knowledge regarding VAP. The intervention consisted of a posterboard and study guide that provided information regarding evidence-based guidelines that could be implemented in the ER such as oral care, and head of bed elevation. The overall results on the pre and posttest demonstrated that ER nurses were unaware that oral care and the use of chlorhexidine were important interventions to reduce the incidence of developing VAP. Recommendations and implications for advanced practice nursing and the need for future research are discussed.