Abstract Category: Practice Innovation / Evidence-Based Practice

Purpose: The Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) (2017) suggest that circulating nurses should help decrease fear of surgery for patients and caregivers because they experience high levels of anxiety and loss of control. The goal of this study was to assess the perceptions of patients' and caregivers' fear of having surgery under general anesthesia pre/post the implementation of an evidence based (EB) emotional support checklist along with the patients' physiological measures.

Methods: This study was a quasi-experimental pre/post single group evaluation research study. 75 patients and 75 caregivers were given a cover letter with a researcher-developed survey that included assessing fear on a scale of 1-10. Physiological measures were also collected.

Findings: Patients' top two fears were risk of death (69.3%, 52) and pain (68.0%, 51). For caregivers they were risk of death (87.5%, 70) and complications (78.8%, 63). Patients experienced a decrease in fear (p=.000) as did the caregivers (p=.000). Patients' systolic (p=.000), heart rate (p=.000), and respiratory rate (p=.000) also decreased post EB emotional support checklist.

Discussion: The results suggest that an EB emotional support checklist addressed and helped decrease patients' and caregivers' fear along with physiological measures in patients by the intervention given by circulator nurses. Also it reduced mystical ideas of surgery under general anesthesia.

Implications for Practice: When patients are undergoing surgery it is highly recommended nurses provide holistic care centered on feelings of fear and emotions of these patients and their family members. Therefore, circulator nurses should have adequate knowledge, skills, and a positive attitude to be able to help patients and family members to move forward on the journey of this critical life event through empathy, active listening, good communication, and emotional support for decreasing fear.

Publication Date


Presented At:

2018 West Kendall Baptist Hospital Scholarly Showcase

Content Type


Open Access

Available to all.