Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Lynda Jarrell


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common problem affecting millions of Americans annually. In fact, between nine and fourteen percent of the entire population is affected by OSA (Diffee, Beach & Cuellar, 2012). Its impact on post-operative care unit (PACU) patients can necessitate the need for an extended recovery time. At the Dallas Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System (VANTHCS) hospital, there was no minimum PACU stay time policy specified for OSA patients. These patients had an increased risk of complications beyond the thirty minute period of stability (as defined by the general PACU stay-time policy). While there was considerable evidence available in the literature review that supported the clinical justification of creating a minimum PACU stay time policy, the specific target population also needed to be considered to inform a recommended duration of stay policy at the local level. Methods: A descriptive correlational study design was used to determine whether a difference in PACU stay times existed among patients with or without a diagnosis of OSA. A retrospective chart review was performed on both groups at a one-to-one ratio. A modified power analysis was employed to establish a sample size greater than the number sufficient to make the review statistically significant (minimum needed n=49, used n=lO0). Results: The ANCOV A test applied in this study indicated that a difference between the OSA and non-OSA groups is highly significant at p < .001. PACU stay time for the OSA group is 82.9% higher than that of the non-OSA group. Thus, the results indicate that the mean PACU stay time for the OSA group is significantly and substantially longer than that for the non-OSA group. Conclusion/Recommendation: It was recommended that a policy be created to establish a new minimum PACU duration of monitoring of sixty minutes for patients with either a known or suspected diagnosis of OSA at the Dallas Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System hospital.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Nursing Commons