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Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia Curriculum Development

Kelley McCarthy, RN, DNP, CRNA

DNP Nurse Anesthesia 

Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia Curriculum Development

Project Category: Evidence Implementation

Project Team: Kelley McCarthy, DNP, CRNA, Pauline DeJesus, DNP, CRNA Kristine Tierney, DNP, CRNA (Advisor) 


Background: Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (UGRA) is the standard of care for peripheral nerve block (PNB) administration; however, this technique requires sufficient training. To optimize UGRA training for nurse anesthesia students, catalyzing its benefits to patients, hospitals, communities, and the profession, an evidence-based UGRA simulation curriculum was created and implemented for the four main brachial plexus PNBs.

Methods:  In accordance with current evidence on simulation curriculum techniques, an educational video and PNB fluencies were created. These components were added to the UGRA curriculum at Rosalind Franklin University for the class of 2024 (Team 24). A Qualtrics™Software survey measuring level of preparedness was completed by this class and the class of 2023 (Team 23), which served as the comparison.

Results: Team 23 had 32 responses out of 33 surveyed; Team 24 had 36 responses out of 36 surveyed. The following percentages describe students that reported a 4 (well prepared) or 5 (very-well prepared) on a 5-point Likert scale: sonoanatomy identification (Team 23: 28%, Team 24: 61%); describing nerve distribution (Team 23: 34%, Team 24: 61%); selecting appropriate nerve block (Team 23: 31%, Team 24: 75%); setting up for a PNB (Team 23: 71%, Team 24: 75%); assessing a PNB (Team 23: 23%, Team 24: 78%). 

Conclusion: The results support the use of an UGRA simulation curriculum involving educational videos and fluency checklists to increase students’ level of preparedness for vital skills required to successfully perform PNBs in clinical practice.

Full Manuscript Slide Presentation Video