Date of Award

Winter 12-7-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Kathleen Masters

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Cathy Hughes

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Mary Jane Collins

Committee Member 3 Department



The management of a difficult airway by anesthesia providers is a core component of providing safe care. Simulation provides an opportunity for the student to manage uncommon clinical scenarios without harm to an actual patient. This project aimed to determine if the use of simulation may be useful in training Student Registered Nurse Anesthetist in the management skills of a difficult airway. The proposed intervention of this project was the addition of simulation experience to didactic lecture covering difficult airway management techniques. As supported in the Adult Learning Principles of Medical Learners, by allowing the SRNA to actively participate in the management of a difficult airway, instead of solely hearing about techniques through lecture, techniques may be better understood.

The target outcome of this project was to determine if simulation after classroom lecture increases the perceived self-efficacy of SRNAs in handling a difficult airway in the clinical setting. A two group, post-test design was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of simulation to increase perceived self-efficacy for first-year Nurse Anesthesia students. The two groups participating in this project, the control group (n=10) and the intervention group (n=10), both received the same classroom lecture on difficult airways, as per usual for the program, prepared by the course director. After the pre-evaluations were completed, the students were randomly placed in either group. At the end of each exercise, the students then took the post-evaluation of perceived self-efficacy in the management of a difficult airway. Each group had an increase in mean, perceived self-efficacy in the management of a difficult airway following both interventions. Although the demonstration-group had a higher percent change in overall and categorical mean confidence levels, the intervention group also had an increase percent change in overall and individual categories following the simulation exercise. Simulation may be useful in the preparedness of future SRNAs in the management of a difficult airway.