Background and purpose: Evidence-based practice shows that early identification and treatment of patient deterioration and effective use of rapid response teams reduce unplanned ICU readmissions and out-of-ICU arrests, decreasing hospital LOS and mortality (Al-Omari, 2019). A need was identified for a formal, specialized educational program to empower med-surg nurses with knowledge and skills to aid in early recognition and treatment of patient deterioration. The decompensation, assessment, recognition and treatment (DART) workshop is a quality initiative developed to support med-surg nurses in recognition of patient deterioration, effective interprofessional communication, and patient management during emergencies in acute care.
Description: The workshop consists of one 7-hour session monthly with 8-10 med- surg nurses utilizing 5 simulation scenarios with debriefing sessions, audience response, hands-on training, and lecture. Topics include respiratory compromise, sepsis, cardiac arrhythmias, neurological changes, vital signs/early warning systems, and SBAR/effective communication. A pre- and post-test is used to assess clinical knowledge and self-reported confidence in caring for acutely decompensating patients. Additionally, an objective tool is used to measure simulation performance throughout the day (Liaw, 2011).
Evaluation/outcome: An analysis of pre/post-test scores found that the overall post-test scores were significantly higher (M=78.79, Gmd=12.91) than the pre-test scores (m=78.79, Gmd=11.49), t (99) = -13.589, p