Blood Transfusion Education

Background: In order to prevent sentinel events, nurses need to understand how to safely perform a blood transfusion and how to recognize a transfusion reaction. Since night shift nurses on West 2, a medical-surgical unit at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH), reported blood transfusions being less common at night than during the day, it is important to ensure they are still confident with the procedure. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the following research question: Among night shift nurses, does blood transfusion education compared to no education increase nurses’ confidence with the procedure? Methods: A tool for nurses to review blood transfusion safety was created in the form of a poster. The poster outlines a checklist for pre-transfusion, intra-transfusion, and post-transfusion steps. Signs of a transfusion reaction, appropriate interventions to treat a reaction, and a blood compatibility chart are also included on the poster. Results: Since the blood transfusion policy at CDH has been changed, the poster will be used as part of an education initiative about the update. Instead of using blood bands as part of the safety process, information will be obtained from patients’ regular hospital bands. A survey regarding nurses’ confidence in blood transfusions will be provided to the agency for them to use upon the completion of this education. Implications: If utilized by CDH, the results of the survey will indicate whether an education initiative involving a poster is effective in increasing night shift nurses’ confidence in performing blood transfusions.