Pediatric Trauma Society

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Photographic Nursing Guide to Using an External Ventricular Drain
Marianne Griffis, BSN; Melissa Turner, MSN, RN; Pam Pieper, PhD, APRN, PPCNP-BC, TCRN, FAANP
Wolfson Children's Hospital, Jacksonville, FL

Background: It is not uncommon for PICU nurses to have prolonged times between caring for patients with an external ventricular drain (EVD). Already stressful circumstances can be significantly more difficult due to EVD equipment manufacturer's user guides being written in tiny font and difficult to follow.

Methods: A mannequin was used to photograph each step involved in receiving a patient with an EVD from the OR. Using PowerPoint, a straightforward description, including large red arrows to identify the exact stopcock position referenced, were added to each photograph. Pages were laminated and placed on a metal ring with the equipment in rooms of patients having an EVD.

Results: Feedback has been very positive. Nurses report that the photographic EVD user's guides provide good information and are very user-friendly. During our trauma center site survey, the neurosurgeon identified them as a best practice.

Conclusions: Our straightforward EVD user's guides include pictures of everything necessary to appropriately manage and trouble-shoot the EVD equipment. They help ensure that that even novice nurses can use an EVD correctly and safely.

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