Doctoral Project Defense: Claire Ryan

Candidate Name: Claire Ryan

Major: Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Thesis Advisor: Crystal O’Guin, D.N.P.

Title: Standardized Post Anesthesia Handovers by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists: An Exploration of Barriers to Implementation

Introduction: Numerous studies show benefits to the standardization of a post anesthesia handover process, yet little research has investigated the degree Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) incorporate them into their daily practice nor identified obstacles that may prevent their implementation.
Purpose: To explore the extent CRNAs use standardized post anesthesia handovers in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and to investigate barriers to implementation.
Methods: The study used a quantitative descriptive research design. A denovo data collection tool (titled ‘Standardized Post-anesthesia Handover Procedures Assessment Tool’) was developed and validated for survey distribution to 3000 CRNA members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). Surveys were disseminated between February-
Results: A total of 243 CRNAs completed the survey. Utilization of a mandated standardized post anesthesia handovers was 30.4% (n=73); 17.5% (n=42) indicated their facility post anesthesia handover was mandated but non-standardized while 52.1% (n=125) had no mandated handover in place. Significantly more CRNAs utilized their standardized post anesthesia handover procedure 100% of the time compared to the non-standardized group (p=0.001). Barriers to post anesthesia handover implementation that emerged from the research included: disagreement with handover adequacy (p=0.005), disagreement to likelihood of using handover with incentives provided (p=0.008), disagreement to easy access (p=0.005), disagreeing to handover that is easy/simple to use (p<0.0001), disagreement to handover communicated effectively (p<0.0001); disagreement to data collection on utilization (p=0.008); and agreement to skepticism (p=0.001) and distractions (p=0.003). The majority of the sample population preferred a standardized post anesthesia handover as a checklist or digital application format that takes <4 minutes to complete.
Conclusions: Despite evidence-based research promoting handover standardization, a notable amount of CRNAs have no mandated post anesthesia handover (standardized or non-standardized) in place at their current facility. This study highlights key implementation barriers and provides recommendations to aid future handover standardization initiatives. Further research needs to examine the barriers and facilitators of handover implementation.

Tuesday, March 31 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Event Type

Academic Events, Dissertation Defense


School of Nursing & Health Studies, Advanced Nursing Practice, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Graduate Thesis and Dissertation Defense



Open to the public and the press?


Event Contact Name

Caroline Kay

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