Date of Graduation

Fall 12-17-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


MSN project

First Advisor

Dr. Nneka Chukwu


Problem: In the span of a nine-month period, the incidence of surgical site infections (SSIs) in a singular perioperative unit reached 13. SSIs have been linked with negative consequences for both the patient and healthcare system, decreasing quality of life and increasing costs.

Context: The 20-bed post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) primarily serves adult patients in the East Bay Area, where a variety of surgeries including elective and emergent procedures are performed. This facility specializes in general surgeries, where laparoscopic excisions and hernia repairs were the most commonly observed.

Intervention: The Standardized 3-Step Hand Hygiene Discharge Teaching is aimed to improve and standardize the hand hygiene education process in the PACU. It is anticipated to promote increased adherence in handwashing for patients and ultimately decrease SSIs in the long run.

Measures: The proposed outcome measure is the rate of occurrence of SSI per 1,000 patient days. The process measure is the percent of staff compliance in completing the Standardized 3-Step Hand Hygiene Discharge Teaching procedure. The balancing measure is ensuring that the intervention does not prolong the discharge process.

Results: The expected results are a significant decrease in SSIs and 70% staff compliance in intervention implementation.

Conclusion: Literature maintains that hand hygiene is a significant intervention in reducing infection. It was observed that on this unit, there were inconsistencies in hand hygiene teaching. Though, further observation on other days and shifts may be indicated to determine the validity of the data. Due to the inability to implement the intervention and inadequate time, future directions may include implementing the Standardized 3-Step Hand Hygiene Discharge Teaching and audits to define a clearer relationship between consistent hand hygiene discharge teaching and the incidence of SSIs.