Stony Brook University Hospital’s Ambulatory Surgery Center Nurses Develop New Method for Peripheral Nerve Blocks

Nurses at Stony Brook University Hospital's ambulatory surgery center have developed a new method of performing peripheral nerve blocks for patients undergoing orthopedic surgery procedures, according to a Health Canal report.

The new method reduces pain, nausea, vomiting, risk of errors and amount of time in the OR, according to the report. Expanding on the role of RN as outlined by the New York State Board of Nursing Education, nurses can now inject medications with the supervision of an anesthesiologist.

Because there were no clinical practice guidelines or policies for nurses to assist with regional blocks, the ASC nurses developed a clinical model to make sure clinical practice was safe and efficient. They identified a set of critical elements that the nurse would address to ensure patient safety. Those elements included:

• Ensuring that an informed consent to perform the regional block is completed
• Participation by the nurse in a timeout procedure to verify the correct block site
• Development of a specific form to document vital signs during the procedure
• Development of a process to confirm that all medications drawn up by the anesthesiologists were properly labeled
• Development of competencies in ultrasound machine and nerve stimulator
• Credentialing of registered nurses in moderate sedation, allowing nurses to sedate the patient under the direction of an anesthesiologist
• Development of in-services on regional blocks and associated annual competencies

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