Date of Award

Fall 12-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. LaWanda Baskin

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Cathy Hughes

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 3

Dr. Nina McLain

Committee Member 3 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice



Fall safety is an important component of patient care in the healthcare setting. Communication and implementation of fall safety measures are a critical part of the plan of care for each patient. Pre-operative pediatric patients have an increased risk of falls due to sedation, under-developed motor skills, and fall safety education. It is important for the pre-operative nursing staff to evaluate and implement a plan of care, including fall safety measures, according to each patient’s needs. The Joint Commission, (additionally known as TJC), is a United States based nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that accredits more than 22,000 U.S. healthcare organizations and programs. Each year TJC gathers information about emerging patient safety issues and develops the National Patient Safety Goals. Effective January 1, 2021: Sentinel Event Policy to define fall events. Fall safety is currently not a National Patient Safety Goal but a provision of care with the TJC. The Joint Commission addresses falls in NPSG.09.02.01: Reduce the risk of falls. Reducing the risks of fall safety and increasing awareness of pre-operative pediatric patients can increase patient outcomes. Pediatric fall safety is essential for healthcare facilities to maintain patient safety and high-quality patient care for a safer pediatric surgical experience.

The project focused on developing a specific checklist for the pre-operative staff to complete on each pediatric patient having an outpatient surgical procedure. A preoperative fall safety checklist was developed for the nursing staff to trial for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, the staff answered a questionnaire to evaluate their opinions on fall safety and future recommendations. The purpose of this study is to develop a nursing checklist for documentation of pediatric pre-operative fall safety measures. With fall safety being a rare event and difficult to measure, it is better to take a proactive approach rather than a reactive one.