1. Valdez, Christine R. MN, RN, CNS, CNOR
  2. Richardson, Jenny MS, RN, CNS
  3. Schrader, Jennifer BSN, RN, CPAN

Article Content


To evaluate the effectiveness of an interdisciplinary interdepartmental educational program using high-fidelity simulation on malignant hyperthermia (MH) knowledge at the Portland Veterans Medical Center.



A protocol for the emergent care of patients with MH was created within the operating room (OR). Since the syndrome is rare and the mortality rate is high, the OR staff decided to reevaluate their plan to reeducate the staff. An interdisciplinary workgroup was formed for this purpose. A comprehensive MH plan should include all areas that care for patients during and immediately after anesthesia, so members of the intensive care unit (ICU) and the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) were also included.



No policy for MH was in place that included interdisciplinary interdepartmental staff members.



The MH workgroup used resources from the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States to prepare a high-fidelity education session. A 10-item MH knowledge assessment tool was created and administered to nursing staff prior to and then following the educational sessions. The workgroup coordinated a didactic educational session followed by a mock MH drill using simulation technology. Pre- vs post-data analysis was used to determine the effectiveness of the educational intervention.



MH knowledge assessment scores were tallied for 93 interdisciplinary participants from the three units. The mean score increased from 56% on the pretest to 89% on the posttest. Greater than half of the participants scored 70% or higher on the posttest. More than 90% of the participants agreed or strongly agreed that simulation was a helpful learning tool. The satisfaction scores with the standard of practice for care of patients with MH improved by 42-77% in all areas.



During analysis of the pretest and posttest correct responses, identification of early signs and symptoms of MH continued to be a problem area with staff in all areas.


Implications for CNS Basic and Continuing Education:

Interdisciplinary collaboration on MH education programs can be beneficial in improving staff satisfaction and knowledge. The use of simulation for MH drills can contribute to positive learning outcomes.


Section Description

The 2010 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) Annual National Conference is planned for Portland, Oregon, on March 3 to 6. More than 375 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), graduate faculty, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and graduate students are expected to attend. This year's theme, "CNS as Internal Consultant: Influencing Local to Global Systems," demonstrates the breadth and depth of CNS practice and leadership at multiple levels in organizations and on healthcare.


A total of 142 abstracts were submitted for review, and 58 (not including student posters) were selected for either podium or poster presentations. Again, this year, there is a CNS student poster session; student abstracts will appear in a later issue of the journal. The abstracts addressed CNS practice in all 3 practice domains as described in the Spheres of Influence Framework for CNS Practice. Abstracts emphasized patient safety and quality care outcomes, leadership, CNS education, evidence-based practice, and new ways to shape CNS practice. Topics include CNS work activities incorporated into the 3 Spheres of Influence, the role of the CNS in developing clinical inquiry skills among staff nurses, use of simulation technology, strategies to maintain clinical excellence, the role of the CNS in National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) activities, and many new and thoughtful ideas to support CNS education, practice, and research. Collectively, the abstracts represent the breadth, depth, and richness of the CNS's contribution to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities, as well as contributing to the advancement of the nursing profession.


The conference abstracts are published to share new knowledge with those unable to attend the conference. As you read each abstract, appreciate the intellectual talent and clinical scholarship of your CNS colleagues who are advancing the practice of nursing and contributing to the health of society through improved outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations. We encourage you to contact individual presenters to network, collaborate, consult, or share your thoughts and ideas on the conference topics.


Watch for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting for presentation at the next NACNS annual conference scheduled for March 9-12, 2011, in Baltimore, Maryland.