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Admission to an intensive care unit can become a traumatic event for some patients and can cause them to experience psychological distress. Psychological distress is when patients experience anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder related to ICU admission. With the introduction of the COVID-19 pandemic, this psychological distress has become more of a problem with patients and current nursing practices are falling short in providing quality psychological care. Surgery ICU nurses at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center were given a pre-test on preventing psychological distress in ICU patients to facilitate practice change. A short educational offering was provided to these nurses to educate them on the knowledge and skills needed to prevent psychological distress in their patient population. Teaching strategies that were used in this educational session included lecture, a video, peer-to-peer discussion and the utilization of case study analysis. In total, fifty-six SICU nurses attended these educational sessions. A post-test and evaluation survey were administered after the offering to conclude the effectiveness of the education. The evaluation method of comparing scores of the pre-test to post-test proved to be valid with all nurses scoring significantly better on the post-test after attending the educational session. In addition, 100% of nurses stated that they would use the nursing interventions described in the presentation in their nursing practice, which indicates nurses having a positive attitude towards preventing psychological distress in their patients. Results indicate that SICU nurses will practice quality patient care and improve patient outcomes by preventing psychological distress in their patients.

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