Date of Award

Summer 8-30-2017

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Karen Sue Hoyt, PhD, FNP-BC, ENP-C, FAEN, FAANP, FAAN

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this evidence-based practice project was to improve early identification using ultrasound in pediatric patients who met the diagnostic criteria for acute appendicitis in the emergency department.

Background: One of the most common diagnoses of pediatric patients seen in the emergency department with an abdominal complaint is an acute appendicitis (Mostbeck et al., 2016).

Methodology: A quality improvement program in an emergency department was led by a nurse practitioner. Retrospective baseline data was collected for 12 months and 8 weeks post intervention.

Results: An increased utilization of ultrasound by 18.2% and a decrease utilization of computed tomography (CT) by 32.56% were noted.

Conclusions: This project demonstrated improved early identification of acute appendicitis via ultrasound while reducing the use of ionizing radiation of CTs. Barriers identified were the initial attitudes and beliefs about the use of ultrasound vs. CT. The nurse practitioner will provide sustainability to this ongoing program by coordinating an instructional program to improve ultrasound technician technique.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Included in

Nursing Commons

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