Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2020

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Burkard, DNSc, CRNA



Background: The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 53 percent of people that misused pain relievers in the past year received them from a friend or relative. The NIDA describes that from 2002 to 2008 that drug abuse in service members went from 2% to 11%. Often patients are initially prescribed and introduced to opioid medication for acute pain. One such circumstance is in the perioperative period that could provide an opportunity to promote opioid-sparing techniques to reduce the exposure to opioids.

Purpose of Project: To assess discharge medication characteristics and reinforce discharge medication instructions using the 5 A’s approach.

Evidenced Based Interventions: Post-surgical patients were contacted to assess for patient satisfaction of pain management, medications used, and if they had left-over medication and if they knew how to dispose of them. After completing the questionnaire, the DNP student implemented the 5 A’s (Assess, Advise, Agree, Assist, and Arrange) to guide the patient and answer any questions.

Evaluation/Results: The results obtained showed that patients had a high satisfaction rate of pain management and that patient were well educated on pain management modalities other than opioids. Of the 100% of patients that were sent home with opioid pain medication 60% had left over opioids and 100% of them were not educated on how to dispose of them. It is this student’s recommendation to have proper medication disposal instructions made available to post-surgical patients.