Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

DNP Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chairperson

Veronica Wilbur, Ph.D., APRN, CNE, FAANP

Committee Member

Rachel Lengle, DNP, CRNA, Staff CRNA

Committee Member

Cheryl D. Schlamb, DNP, CRNP



Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) continues to occur despite medical advances over the years. PONV decreases patient satisfaction, can lead to postoperative complications such as dehydration and suture dehiscence, and it increases hospital costs. Evidence in the literature suggests a preoperative risk assessment screening and prophylactic antiemetic administration can decrease the incidence of PONV. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of a risk assessment tool and to determine if the tool would decrease the incidence of PONV. This quality improvement project involved collecting pre-intervention PONV data over a 6-week time period. The pre-intervention incidence was 17% (n=12). A risk assessment tool was implemented in the perioperative surgical home area of the hospital where presurgical telephonic assessments were completed. Post intervention data was collected with regard to PONV incidence over a 6-week time period, resulting in an incidence of 19% (n=16). No significant findings were established as a result from this quality improvement project. It is recommended to perform a similar quality improvement project with a larger sample size to achieve statistical significance as well as decrease the rate of PONV.

Keywords: postoperative nausea and vomiting, Apfel’s simplified risk score, risk assessment tool, postoperative complications