Point-of-contact assessment of nurse anesthetists' knowledge and perceptions of management of anesthesia-related critical incidents

Journal Article

Most anesthesia providers will experience at least one perioperative critical incident during their career, potentially causing critical incident stress symptoms that may affect their ability to provide patient care. The purpose of this descriptive pilot investigation of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) was to determine if their knowledge of the psychological and physical ramifications of critical incidents, coping strategies to deal with critical incident stress, and satisfaction with departmental handling of critical incidents improved when a formal, institutionally relevant critical incident stress management policy and protocol was developed and implemented. Knowledge of the effects of a critical incident, available coping strategies, and the perceived value of a stress management support protocol were assessed by surveys conducted before and after the implementation of a formal educational program. The results demonstrated that knowledge of critical incident stress and coping strategies improved with a staff educational program, with 25 of 26 respondents (96%) reporting that having a departmental critical incident stress management policy and protocol in place was valuable. This pilot investigation indicates that supportive protocols and education programs for critical incident stress management are beneficial and increase the CRNAs' confidence in their ability to cope with critical incidents.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stone, L; Tyrey, S; Muckler, VC; Vacchiano, CA

Published Date

  • January 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 85 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 55 - 60

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0094-6354

Citation Source

  • Scopus