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  1. Smith, Anne MSN, RN-BC
  2. Farrington, Michele BSN, RN, CPHON
  3. Matthews, Grace MSN, RN-BC


Excessive sedation precedes opioid-induced respiratory depression. An evidence-based practice project standardized systematic sedation monitoring by nurses using an opioid sedation scale and respiratory assessment when opioids are administered for pain management. Nurses were educated and documentation updated. Nurses demonstrated increased ability to identify at-risk patients (3.2 pre-implementation; 3.6 post-implementation; 1-4 Likert scale) and reported understanding the tool to assess for oversedation (2.6 pre-implementation; 3.2 post-implementation). Documentation compliance improved, and patient safety was maintained.