Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Carol Thompson

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Edward Dunn

Committee Member

Dr. Melanie Hardin-Pierce



PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine if staff nurses are knowledgeable concerning palliative care consults and to assess the effectiveness/outcomes of the education intervention that had been implemented in the emergency department and 4W surgical/oncology units at Norton Audubon Hospital.

METHODS: This descriptive, interventional study was done in two phases at Norton Audubon Hospital. The first phase of this study included educational intervention for 24 nurses on 4W and 22 nurses in the emergency department concerning palliative care in July 2018. The second phase of the study was a chart review on consults placed on 69 patients in the above-mentioned units and done after the education was implemented. The chart sampling spanned May 11, 2018, to September 27, 2018.

RESULTS: Staff that received palliative care education benefited from the intervention and scored higher on the post-testing done in September 2018. The post-assessment also found that these nurses were more likely to effectively implement the training instruction presented during the pre-assessment education phase. However, there was not an increase in the number of consults. These results included both emergency department and 4W, surgical/oncology (p=0.05).

CONCLUSION: Educating staff and patients, to become aware of their options can eliminate possible unnecessary medical procedures. An educational intervention has the potential for resulting in better outcomes for both the patient and the hospital organization. Although with this study, the educational intervention, although helpful, more research would benefit on how to produce the best outcome for consults placed on the palliative care patient recognition. This intervention did not result in an increase of consults, only an increase with education.