Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Yale University School of Nursing

First Advisor

Laura K. Andrews


Objectives: The unanticipated difficult airway is a life-threatening circumstance that requires skilled and immediate intervention by trained staff in order to avoid the complications of cardiac arrest, anoxic brain injury, and death. Ambulatory surgery centers with solo anesthesia providers are unique environments where interdisciplinary team members may be relied upon to support emergency airway management, thereby reducing the gap created by absent expert backup anesthesia personnel. An educational intervention was developed to increase emergency airway preparedness, as indicated by change in knowledge and self-efficacy.

Methods: A 75-minute pretest/posttest educational intervention focused on emergency airway preparedness at ambulatory surgery centers with solo anesthesia providers was developed and presented at two sites. An expert panel evaluated elements of the intervention, as well as the assessment measures. Responses were collected related to clinical knowledge, self-efficacy, and demographics. Qualitative feedback was also solicited.

Results: Data demonstrated that educational intervention could increase clinical knowledge and self-efficacy related to the emergency airway preparedness of an interdisciplinary team. Confidence ratings that participants could identify the appropriate time for a surgical airway/cricothyroidotomy showed the largest increase in average self-efficacy. Most team members were unaware of the presence and location of emergency surgical airway equipment and most had never attended an in-service on difficult airway management.

Conclusions: Education regarding emergency airway preparedness can increase knowledge and self-efficacy among interdisciplinary team members at ambulatory surgery centers with solo anesthesia providers, which may increase patient safety and improve quality of care.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access