It can be difficult to diagnose the signs and symptoms of postoperative delirium in patients. “We knew we had to educate our staff about the condition, but felt that presenting the information with a PowerPoint presentation wouldn’t have much of an impact,” says Karen MacDonald, MSN, RN, CNOR, RNFA, director of perioperative and endoscopy services at Banner Casa Grande (Ariz.) Medical Center. Because patients 65 and older are at an increased risk of developing postoperative delirium, she decided on a 1950s theme and created a game modeled after “Jeopardy!” The game included six categories, just like the game show. Here are a few examples to get you started:
• What’s in a Name: Mr. Johnson is very lethargic and slow to respond to commands. This condition is commonly found in older patients and difficult to diagnose.
Answer: What is hypoactive delirium?
• Signs and Symptoms: The patient asks the nurse if she sees the pink elephant and lions roaming the street.
Answer: What are hallucinations?
• Risk Factors: These two precipitating factors place patients at greater risk for delirium.
Answer: What are general anesthesia and multiple psychoactive medications?
• Documentation: This is a reliable, valid tool used to diagnose delirium.
Answer: What is the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM)?
• Interventions: This communication method should be used to inform other providers of the risk for delirium.
Answer: What is a handoff?
• Wild Card: The most effective means by which to reduce both the frequency and complications of delirium.
Answer: What is prevention?
Presenting staff education in this fun and creative way captures their attention and helps them recall the teaching points the next time they care for at-risk patients.