Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Jeanne Lowe


Pamela Christensen


Background: Including family in the pediatric post-operative post-anesthesia care unit (Phase I PACU) benefits children and families. Seattle Children’s Hospital’s (SCH) Bellevue campus PACU routinely involves families in Phase I but, despite the same mission that includes family-centered care, the Seattle PACU does not consistently involve families in Phase I. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to analyze nurse and family perceptions of Phase I and to propose a practice change that promotes family-centered care in the Seattle Phase I PACU.

Methods: A survey (11 to 31 multiple choice, Likert style and open-ended response questions) was offered to SCH PACU nurses working in both locations. The following variables were also compared between the two locations for day surgery tonsillectomy patients including: recovery room length of stay (LOS), American Society of Anesthesia (ASA) physical status classification, primary spoken language and seven SCH family experience survey (FES) questions.

Results: Seattle and Bellevue nurses agreed that family presence benefits children and families. Seattle nurses reported that child and environmental factors contribute most to having family in Phase I, but that family presence may negatively impact the PACU care environment and nursing workflow. Bellevue nurses were significantly more satisfied than Seattle nurses with their current care model. Recovery room LOS was significantly longer in Seattle than in Bellevue, but there was no significant difference in ASA level and no correlation between ASA level and recovery room LOS. Seattle had significantly older and non-English speaking patients. There was no significant difference between results for any of the FES questions.

Conclusions: Results of this project provided nurse perceptions of Phase I care and a foundation for implementing a practice change that would consistently reunite families with their children in Phase I across SCH sites.

Included in

Nursing Commons