First Advisor

Kathleen S. Whalen

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Dr. Kathleen Whalen, Dr. Lora Claywell, Dr. Cheryl Kruschke, Dr. Carol Wallman, Dr. Shu-Yi Wang


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

75 pages


Implementation of an ICU Surge Capacity Response Protocol

Patrick Simon S. Soria


High consequence infectious diseases (HCID) threaten healthcare systems because of their high transmissibility, resulting in massive infections within hours. In the initial stages of an HCID outbreak in developing countries, there are no definite treatment pathways and guidelines to manage patients who become critically ill. The prolonged surge of critically ill patients affects the physical and mental well-being of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses due to many factors. An ICU surge capacity response protocol was implemented in four intensive care units for four months at one government hospital in the Philippines to address this problem. Using a pre-post survey design and convenience sampling, 90 ICU nurses were invited to participate in the project. The Short Form 36 survey was used to measure the participant’s physical and mental well-being before and after implementing the protocol. Three open-ended questions were added to the post-intervention survey to gather additional feedback. A paired sample t-test was done to determine any difference between the pre-and post-test scores. The analysis revealed a statistically significant improvement in the mean scores. Using the Pearson correlation test, it was determined that job role was inversely correlated to the pretest scores. The thematic analysis findings revealed themes related to staffing, supplies, system, and mental health support. Limitations of the study included missing question items and implementation of the project in a single nursing department. The findings in this project supported the need to implement an ICU surge capacity response protocol to manage the surge of patients and improve the physical and mental well-being of ICU nurses.

Keywords: DNP Project, Preparedness for Highly Infectious Diseases, Critical Care Capacity

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

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