Date of Graduation

Summer 5-14-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

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School of Nursing and Health Professions


Pain management is a never-ending battle when caring for patients, whether post-operative for surgical procedures, managing disease processes, or caring for acute injuries. Nursing understanding and proper utilization of their tools and resources are imperative to maximize patient comfort levels as best as possible when dealing with pain. Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps are a modern marvel which allow patients to control (to an extent) medication received when feeling discomfort, however, as well all devices, PCA pumps must be programmed correctly and monitored to ensure accurate, effective, safe dosing. This quality improvement project examined the utilization of a new Sapphire PCA pump in a suburban hospital in the Bay area, with the goal of improving user competency and patient pain management and outcomes. After performing a microsystem assessment, the team performed a root cause analysis (RCA) to determine the focus of the project. An in-service was determined to be the most effective way to ensure proper training of staff and evaluate staff competence and confidence in utilizing the Sapphire PCA pump.