Background: The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is a tool used to aid in objectively measuring the neurological status of a patient. This study aimed to evaluate the limitations and discrepancies in GCS use among nurses in an academic medical center neurological intensive care unit and compile evidence for development of a standardized GCS educational program. Methods: Twenty nurse participants completed a survey before attending an educational intervention. Participants then attended a 90-minute educational intervention. In follow-up, participants were asked to complete a postsurvey. Results: The standardized GCS educational program significantly improved nurse knowledge of the GCS as measured by presurvey and postsurvey general GCS question scores. Educational programming improved application of the GCS as measured by presurvey and postsurvey GCS verbal component, motor component, and sum scores. GCS motor score performance was the least accurate component. Conclusion: Participants reported that the education has informed the unit culture and emboldened clinical nurses to speak to their practice with more authority. Educational interventions should be aimed toward applied transfer of knowledge to the case-based scenarios in the clinical setting.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Lori Kennedy Madden, PhD RN ACNP-BC CCRN-K CNRN, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a Clinical Nurse Scientist and Director, Center for Nursing Science, University of California Davis Health, Sacramento, CA.
Catherine M. Enriquez, BSN RN CNRN, Clinical Nurse II, University of California San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA.
Karen H. Chisholm, BSc(Hons) RN RNG, Clinical Nurse II, University of California San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA.
Amy D. Larsen, MS RN CCRN SCRN, is Clinical Nurse Specialist, Institute for Nursing Excellence, University of California San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA.
Tuesday de Longpré, MSN, RN, CRNA, is Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
Daphne Stannard, PhD RN-BC CNS, is Professor, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (www.jnnonline.com).