Educating SRNAs about the Practice of Legally Defendable Anesthesia
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SRNAs take on a great legal risk as they enter into the field of anesthesia, but their current educational program does not adequately prepare them to practice in a way that limits this risk. The goal of this project was to improve SRNAs’ understanding of how to provide anesthesia care in a manner that is safe and legally defendable. Numerous studies detailing anesthesia closed claims illustrate the need for this intervention, and serve as guidelines for SRNAs to learn from. Piaget’s Genetic Epistemology provides a theoretical framework for the project, as the SRNAs involved received new information and determined how to adjust their schemas, following the theory’s major concept of balancing assimilation and accommodation processes. Data was collected using a quantitative, pretest-posttest format. First- and second-year SRNAs attending the University at Buffalo comprised the sample, and completed an assessment of understanding of legal concepts in anesthesia before and after receiving an educational intervention. Assessment scores were analyzed alongside variables collected using a demographic survey. Statistical analyses included dependent groups t-test and Pearson’s r. Group mean assessment score demonstrated a statistically significant improvement (t = 4.772, p < .001, CI = 7.206 – 18.339), suggesting that the project’s primary goal of improving SRNAs’ understanding of how to provide legally defendable anesthesia was achieved. The lack of a statistically significant correlation between demographic variables and assessment scores indicate that the educational intervention can be used effectively for nurses of all ages and levels of prior experience.