Date of Award


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Jean Barry

Second Advisor

Karyn Butler

Third Advisor

Michelle Pena


The objective of this scholarly project is to determine the impact of patient-centered communication education in an emergency department (ED) on the perception of workplace safety. The ED is a vulnerable setting and susceptible to workplace violence (WPV) due in part to increasing numbers of patients presenting to EDs with primary psychiatric complaints. High-quality patient-staff interactions correlate positively with better treatment outcomes. Patient-centered communication skills can be taught, and patients have similar expectations of what patient-centered communication means no matter their diagnoses. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to conduct patient-centered communication education with nurses, nursing assistants, and security officers working in an ED focusing primarily on communicating with individuals who have a mental illness. The education development was guided by the Four Habits Model framework, and was implemented in a Plan, Do, Study, and Act manner. A pretest/post-test design was used to evaluate their learning, and an assessment of the perception of workplace safety post-education was done. Results were analyzed using quality improvement methodology. The DNP student also conducted informal interviews with the ED and security staff post- implementation. The purpose of the interviews was to gain a better understanding of what went well and what barriers got in the way related to communicating with patients with a mental illness. This was done in order to further develop the educational content.

Included in

Nursing Commons