Publication Date

Summer 2022

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Denise Dawkins


postoperative hypothermia, forced warm air, electronic medical records, PACU, normothermia, Postoperative warming compliance


Millions of operations are performed annually in the United States. However, postoperative hypothermia still affects surgical patients who are not thermoregulated and can occur among them during the postoperative period. Postoperative warming compliance rates across countries and institutions are generally poor (Koh et. al, 2021). Therefore, the focus of the DNP project was to assess how providing education on postoperative warming and providing visual cues to the PACU RNs would increase postoperative warming compliance. The PACU RN participants were provided postoperative warming education with visual cues. Specifically reviewed with the PACU RNs was taking the patient’s temperature, connecting the patient to a forced air warming device if hypothermic, and documentation. A three month pre- and post-chart review was done to obtain the baseline data on PACU RN compliance. A Social Science Statistics Fisher Exact Test Calculator and Microsoft Excel was utilized to perform all data analysis. Results revealed an averaged increase of 85.6% postoperative warming compliance rate that was a statistically significant improvement (p<0.05) after the intervention with the PACU RNs. Postoperative warming education with visual cues helped improve postoperative warming compliance in the PACU. The project showed how essential education is to remind PACU RNs the dangers of hypothermia and what measures are needed to prevent postoperative hypothermia.


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