Thunder Project ® I

Purpose: At the conclusion of the project, an evaluation study was undertaken to determine the perceptions of the Site Coordinators and Site Research Associates in relation to the process and content goals of the Thunder Project®. Specifically, the evaluation's purpose was to determine the extent process and content goals of the project were met, as well as provide an opportunity for Site Coordinators and Site Research Associates to comment on the study process.

Methods: When all completed data collection forms were received from a project site, the Site Coordinators were sent evaluation tools. Site Coordinators and Site Research Associates completed the appropriate form and returned the completed evaluation tools to the AACN National Office for processing. Separate evaluation tools for Site Coordinators and Site Research Associates were developed by the Thunder Project® Task Force. Statements were developed to describe the project's ability to meet the stated process and content goals. A 4-point Likert-type scale was used to measure the respondent's level of agreement with each statement. Optically scannable forms were used, and written comments were requested at the end of each evaluation tool. The responses to each item were scanned using an OpScan5 scanner, and these data were downloaded into the CRUNCH4 statistical software for analysis. Descriptive statistics were generated. Comments were read and categorized according to themes.

Results, Demographics: Project evaluation forms were received from 165 (83%) of the 198 Site Coordinators submitting data from their sites by the end of the data collection period. A total of 1118 Site Research Associates submitted completed evaluation forms. Eighty-nine percent of the Site Coordinators were either Doctoral or Masters prepared. The remaining 11% were either working on a degree or had a support person with either Masters or Doctoral preparation. Thunder Project® was the first nursing research coordinator experience for 97 (60.6%) of the Site Coordinators. Another 36 (22.5%) indicated it was their second experience, and 27 (16.9%) had coordinated three or more research projects.

Content Goal: The Thunder Project® explored the effects of heparinized and non-heparinized flush solutions on the patency of arterial pressure monitoring lines. Site Coordinators and Research Associates were asked to rate the importance of the Thunder Project®'s research topic to clinical practice. All of the Site Coordinators and 95% of the Research Associates felt that the research topic addressed by the project was important to clinical practice. Comments illustrate their thoughts: "Heparin is a drug, and if we can eliminate one drug from the patient's regimen in critical care, we are doing something good." "Hopefully it will lead to the elimination of the use of heparin to maintain line patency which would be much safer for patients, less costly, and less time consuming for the nursing staff."


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