Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



School of Nursing



Committee Chair

Aaron Ostrowski

Committee Co-Chair

Chad Crigger


Background: Operating room (OR), professionals deliver patient care with brief introductions, and roles were not always identified, and although team members wear identification (ID) badges, they were usually covered by sterile gowns and other routine personal protective equipment (PPE). Purpose: The aim of this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to determine if a simple intervention to apply the individual’s name and role to a scrub cap could improve identification, OR team communication, and consequently, patient safety. The participants in this project consisted of nurses, physicians, anesthesia providers, scrub technicians, students, medical sales representatives, and those that identified as “other,” yielding 51 pre-survey and 44 post intervention responses. Methods: of this quality improvement project, which spanned two months in the urological ORs in a teaching hospital in West Virginia, involved the implementation of a nonverbal communication strategy requesting participants to affix their name and role onto the outside of their scrub cap upon entering the case. The intervention aims to determine the effectiveness of this strategy in improving communication and the perception of patient’s safety when fully donned in PPE among unfamiliar, deidentified team members. The participants provided feedback on the intervention through electronic and paper formatted pre- and post-surveys. Eleven paper copies were discarded due to multiple selections for 1 response only questions. Results: The mean, median, mode, and standard deviation were evaluated based on demographic data obtained from the surveys. In addition, A Mann-Whitney U Test was conducted to determine the participant’s perception on enhanced patient safety after the intervention which yielded results that were not statistically significant (p= 0.856). Conclusion: while results were not statistically significant, further investigation is required to determine the effect of a nonverbal identification system on patient safety as staff perceived improved identification of OR team members and communication.