Date of Graduation
Project/Capstone - Global access
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
School of Nursing and Health Professions
PROBLEM: Improper postoperative pain assessment increased recovery time in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Effective pain management is essential to improve the quality of patient care. Adequate pain control decreases readmissions and length of stay, which directly aligns with the institution’s priorities of providing high quality care at an affordable cost.
CONTEXT: ABC Hospital is a non-profit and community-focused regional medical center based in Pasadena, CA, with 5000 employees. It included 619-beds and became an affiliate of C Health System in August 2021. Improper postoperative pain management practices caused delayed length of stay and increased cost of care in the PACU.
INTERVENTIONS: This project provided an educational program on pain management for frontline clinical nurses in the PACU. The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) measured the intervention's impact on pain relief, PACU length of stay, and patient satisfaction with pain management, as measured by self-report.
MEASURES: Patient Pain Performance Improvement Data Collection Tool and the PACU Patient Survey Postoperative Pain Management measured the effectiveness of the intervention and increased patient satisfaction with pain management. We measured the intervention's impact on pain relief, PACU length of stay, and patient satisfaction with pain management, as measured by self-report. The project problem's outcomes measure involved pain management performance assessment, improvement, education, and policy-making.
RESULTS: By July 2023, the PACU department in ABC Hospital reduced the length of postoperative recovery time by providing its nurses with skill pain management education. As a result, transferring patients from the PACU to an inpatient bed occurred within 1 hour from the time the patient was deemed ready to move from the PACU.
CONCLUSION: Effective postoperative pain management advantages included patient comfort and satisfaction, earlier mobilization, fewer pulmonary and cardiac complications, reduced risk of deep vein thrombosis, and faster recovery with less likelihood of developing neuropathic pain and reduced cost of care in PACU.
Keywords: PACU pain management, length of stay in PACU, pain management education.
Yoon, Eun Hey Gracie, "Decreased Recovery Time with Postoperative Pain Assessment in a PACU" (2023). Master's Projects and Capstones. 1609.