Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Cathy Hughes

Committee Chair School

Professional Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Lawanda Baskin

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Fever in children is a common concern for parents and one of the most frequent presenting complaints seen in the emergency department (ED). Fever can be defined as a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Fever is considered a normal response to many conditions, with the most common one being infection (Ward, 2019). The biggest issue seems to be a lack of understanding by the caregivers on how to measure temperature, treat fever, and when to be concerned about temperature reading. Educating caregivers may enhance their self-management and sense of control, reduce healthcare-seeking behavior, and lower antibiotic prescriptions.

The purpose of this evidence-based project was to design and implement a pediatric fever education program to present in the emergency department setting to increase recognition and the use of appropriate antipyretic treatments in the home setting, decrease caregiver anxiety and fever phobia, and improve their satisfaction with the information provided to them during their emergency department visit. The pre-education questionnaire, brochure, post-education questionnaire, and survey were utilized to measure and enhance the caregivers’ knowledge by providing them with information explaining the definition of fever, signs, and symptoms of fever, when to call the doctor or go to the emergency room, how to treat the child’s fever, how to take the child’s temperature, how to use a thermometer, and a brief explanation on febrile seizures. A standard approach to caregiver education regarding pediatric fever is not currently available in this rural emergency department setting.

The education protocol was carried out over a 30-day period with caregivers of pediatric patients ages 6 months-10 years who presented to the emergency department with a chief complaint of fever. The results of the intervention show overall the caregivers were satisfied and had less anxiety about fever with the information provided via the brochure and reassurance of the DNP student. An executive summary was given to the emergency department medical director and nurse manager of the findings. After the executive summary was provided, the director and manager report future consideration of implementing this protocol in the ED.