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Proper Education on Spinal Orthotics: A Way to Minimize Associated Complications

Elia, Christopher, DO; Huynh, Katie, DO; Dong, Fanglong, PhD; Miulli, Dan, DO

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000341

Spinal orthotic bracing is a common modality for treating nonoperative spinal fractures with risks. This study aimed to assess the effect of an intervention on critical care nurses to improve their clinical knowledge and comfort level of managing patients. A literature review was conducted regarding common complications associated with spinal orthotics. This information was compiled and used to create a questionnaire and spinal orthotic course for nurses. Pre- and postassessments of nurses' knowledge regarding spinal orthotics were conducted. A total of 197 nurses completed the presentation. The ability to correctly identify thoracolumbosacral orthotics (TLSO), lumbosacral orthotics (LSO) and cervico-thoracic orthotics (CTO) all significantly increased. Regarding the clinical knowledge, the right answer to the question whether or not halo vest needed to be removed for cardiopulmonary resuscitation increased from 45.2% to 100% (p < .0001), and the correct answer to the question whether or not TLSO braces need to be worn at all times in patients with spinal precautions increased from 62.4% to 100% (p < .0001). Nurses reported that their comfort level of taking care of patients with spinal precautions increased from 94.4% before the presentation to 100% after the presentation. The quality improvement project seemed to improve the critical care nurses' ability to correctly identify different type of braces and their comfort level of managing patients with spinal precautions.

Division of Neurosurgery, Riverside University Health System Medical Center, Moreno Valley, California (Drs Elia, Huynh, and Miulli); and Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California (Dr Dong).

Correspondence: Christopher Elia, DO, Division of Neurosurgery, Riverside University Health System Medical Center, 26520 Cactus Ave, Moreno Valley, CA 92555 (

No conflict of interest was reported in this research for all authors.

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Copyright © 2018 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.