Prospective Validation of Sedation Scale Scores that Identify Light Sedation: A Pilot Study

Author(s): Caitlin Brown, PharmD, Pasquale Joseph Marotta, DO, Richard R. Riker, MD, Ashley D. Eldridge, RN, CCRN, Gilles L. Fraser, PharmD, and Teresa L. May, DO

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP A 1.00

Expires May 01, 2025

Topics: Delirium

Population: Adult

Role: Staff

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

Added to Collection

Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

Intensive care unit (ICU) sedation guidelines recommend targeting a light sedation level, but light sedation has no accepted definition, and inconsistent levels have been proposed. The level of sedation most associated with the ability to follow commands appears higher than previously recommended. Further study is needed regarding ICU patients’ ability to follow commands and assessment of delirium, pain, and patient preferences.


  • Describe the potential differences in how a patient may respond to commands at a RASS of -3 or a RASS of -1 as sedation is reduced.
  • Prioritize the recognition of a patient's ability to follow 3 out of 4 commands during a sedation reduction maneuver.
  • Utilize the evidence suggested in clinical guideline recommendations to assess light 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. No conflicts of interest have been identified for any individual with the ability to influence the content of this activity. Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN or ANCC approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012. AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing (CBRN), California Provider number CEP 1036. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

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.

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