Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Patsy Anderson

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Karen Rich

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Abstract

Staffing, patient ratios, and acuity are not new concepts in health care. While these are popular concepts in medical units, inpatient psychiatric facilities are lacking the tools to correctly quantify patient acuity. An even considerably larger gap exists in the literature regarding the quantification of acuity in pediatric behavioral health units.

A needs assessment was conducted to determine if an existing psychiatric acuity tool would prove useful after implementation in a pediatric behavioral health unit. A need for such a tool was found which led to the purpose of this doctoral project, which was to measure nurse satisfaction with the implementation of a psychiatric admission acuity tool in the pediatric behavioral health unit. The acuity tool used for this project was originally created by Alyssa Howver (2014) for an inpatient adult psychiatric unit at Vanderbilt Hospital.

An implementation of the admission acuity tool was completed for two weeks in the pediatric behavioral health unit. These two weeks with the admission acuity tool in place were compared to the weeks prior without the acuity tool in place. At the end of the four-week study, nurse satisfaction was measured via a survey to determine if the tool met their needs. One hundred percent of nurses surveyed were satisfied with the implementation of the admission acuity tool.

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