Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2022

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Barbara McClaskey

Second Advisor

Greg Belcher

Third Advisor

Trina Larery


As the geriatric population grows rapidly, the importance of utilizing and understanding palliative services continues to rise. Although palliative and hospice care are included in different healthcare courses, misconceptions and lack of knowledge continue to serve as barriers to the utilization of palliative care. The purpose was to assess knowledge, improve palliative care education, and increase understanding of the perspectives of the interdisciplinary team involved in acute patient care. The setting was the telemetry unit in a 300-bed acute care Kansas hospital. A mixed design was utilized with a goal of quality improvement in the use of palliative care. The quantitative portion was a pre-test/post-test to assess participant knowledge before and after the educational intervention. The qualitative portion was an open-ended questionnaire to assess perspectives and intent to use palliative care. The sample included 46 voluntary participants from the interdisciplinary patient care team. After data collection a paired t-test assessed whether there was a statistically significant increase in knowledge following the educational intervention. The open-ended questions were analyzed for common themes. Quantitative results demonstrated a significant 7.8-point increase on the post-test. The qualitative themes emphasized the necessity for hospitals to improve education for the interdisciplinary team, patients, and families. Many participants noted the intent to increase utilization of palliative care in the future but identified a need to better equip staff and increase their confidence with education and assessment tools. Study results emphasized the importance of continuing education in palliative care to ensure more frequent utilization in the hospital setting.