Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine national practice patterns for common nursing procedures related to the care of total hip and total knee patients.
Design: This was a comparative descriptive study utilizing a survey developed by the NAON Total Joint Special Interest Group.
Sample: Two hundred eight-seven valid surveys were completed by NAON members.
Findings: An average of 226 total knee replacements (TKR) and 183 total hip replacements (THR) were performed annually per facility. Data about perioperative practices, postoperative activity practices, use of equipment, anticoagulation practices, and discharge practices (including length of stay) were collected.
Implications for Nursing Practice: Knowledge of national practice patterns and incorporation of the information into clinical practice can reduce the patient's risk of unsafe or ineffective care while promoting positive patient outcomes. Nurses can use these data to adjust clinical pathways and practice standards to improve patient outcomes.
At the time of this study, Karen A. Mauer, MSN, RN, ONC, CNP, was an Orthopaedic and Neuroscience Case Manager at Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota. She was also a Nurse Practitioner at West River Neurosurgery and Spine, PC.
At the time of this study, Elizabeth B. Abrahams, MSN, RN, ONC, was an Orthopaedic and Neuroscience Clinical Nurse Specialist at Inova Health System in Falls Church, Virginia. She was also a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Material Management.
Chris Arslanian, PhD, RN, is the Director of Research at Outcomes Research International in Tucson, Arizona.
Lorry Schoenly, DNSc, RN,C, is Director of Education for the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses in Pitman, New Jersey.
Helen M. Taggart, DNS, RN, CS, is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia.