Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Teresa Cyrus


Doctor of Nursing Practice


The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the need for public health education. The enforcement of the statewide face mask mandate required the public to make a rapid behavior change. The face mask mandate also required higher education institutions to develop and implement evidence-based education modules to help decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission. University cafeteria workers were required to wear masks while preparing and serving food.

The project takes place within a cafeteria at a local university in the Midwest during the beginning phases of the statewide face mask mandate. The population of focus includes 14 cafeteria workers responsible for food preparation and serving. University cafeteria workers experience frequent encounters with faculty, students, and visitors.

Observations included face mask noncompliance among 8 out of 10 cafeteria workers. Mask shifting often occurs with movement while performing required tasks. Improper mask compliance leads to an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020a). The identified knowledge deficit among the participants correlated with the need for quality improvement and education. The project's goals included developing a sustainable education module with a self-checklist and promoting a behavior change (Figure 2).

Before the conduction of the employee education module, each participant completed and submitted a pre-education survey (Appendix A). The self-checklist provides the fundamental steps necessary to ensure proper face mask utilization. The employees received the instruction to conduct a self-checklist hourly during each shift throughout the 10-day implementation phase. After the completion of the education session, management displayed the self-checklist visual at eight high-traffic locations. The participants began to utilize the checklist every hour or as needed. The cafeteria manager conducted surveillance and observation throughout the 10 days. On the 11th day, the participants completed and submitted a post-intervention survey (Appendix B) before the education module review session. Throughout this time, participants had the opportunity to verbalize feedback.

A post-intervention survey revealed that 12 of the 14 participants (93%) would continue to utilize the self-checklist. Surveillance conducted through management and self-assessment surveys revealed an overall improvement in the frequency of the continuous and proper utilization of facial masks, including the core concepts of covering the nose, mouth, and chin while simultaneously wearing the mask snuggly against the face. Additionally, participants reported an increased level of comfort while wearing face masks.

The project outcomes and goals indicate an overall increase in engagement, knowledge, and face mask compliance. The recommendation includes expanding the Check Yourself education module to form a public health initiative. The project expansion will include a free face mask drive and diversified versions of multimedia education, including commercial, video, and social media platforms to promote sustainability.