College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-12-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Ronald Graf DNSc


In the U.S, an estimated 44,000-­‐98,000 deaths occur annually due to medical errors. Adverse events can occur as anesthesia providers face a complex environment of high acuity patients undergoing interventions in a variety of locations. Production pressure, new equipment and medications, and constant turnover of personnel contribute to a hazardous working environment. Human factors educational training in cognitive errors, metacognition, and de-­‐biasing strategies has been proposed as a solution to help prevent medical errors in anesthesia practice The study of human factors has been integrated into safety culture industries such as aviation and nuclear power plants, but its incorporation into the medical field has been slow. Nurse anesthesia trainees are in the ideal position to receive human factors training because of their vulnerability to the demands and stressors involved in clinical residency. In this project, a needs assessment survey was distributed to gain expert feedback on the most common and most dangerous human factors errors observed in nurse anesthesia trainees. A human factors seminar was developed that included information on how human factors contribute to errors, avoidance strategies for the human factors identified in the needs assessment survey, and a mental model to help improve decision-­‐making. Post seminar evaluation demonstrated that nurse anesthesia trainees found the seminar content to be applicable to their practice, useful in the operating room environment, and effective in influencing their clinical decision-­‐making.

SLP Collection


Included in

Nursing Commons