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Pharmacology of Procedural Sedation

Author(s): Danyel Adams, PharmD, Katelyn R. Dervay, PharmD

Contact Hours: 1.00

CERP A: 1.00

Pharmacology Hours: 1.00

Expires Dec 01, 2016

Topics: Pharmacology, PainManagement

Population: Lifespan

Role: APRN

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Many unpleasant, uncomfortable, and painful procedures take place throughout various areas in the hospital, including the emergency department, intensive care units, general medicine floors, and procedural areas. These procedures can include, but are not limited to, cardioversion, orthopedic injury reduction, burn debridement, endoscopy, bronchoscopy, and interventional imaging. 1,2 Patients may experience anxiety about undergoing these procedures as they can cause pain and discomfort. This anxiety can occur in both adults and children and can lead to agitation, an increased stress response, and ultimately a patient who is unable to cooperate.2


  • Describe the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of sedatives and analgesics administered for procedural sedation.
  • State 3 adverse effects of commonly administered medications for procedural sedation.
  • List 3 nursing interventions appropriate for patients receiving procedural sedation.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. Approval of a continuing education activity does not imply endorsement by AACN or ANCC of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with the activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation. ANCC Provider Number 0012 (60 min contact hour). AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing California Provider number CEP01036 contact hours (50 min contact hour).

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.