Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Katrice Ziefle


Doctor of Nursing Practice


Objective: This study aimed to understand baseline oral care completion rates before elective cardiovascular surgery (CVS). There are germs in the oral cavity (Li et al., 2000) that reproduce frequently (Quinn & Baker,2015). Intubation through an unclean mouth can translocate germs to the lungs (Davis & Finley, 2012). Oral care, specifically brushing teeth, may reduce hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP). Oral care completion before elective surgery is likely variable but remains unknown.

Methods: Surveys were administered to the patients in the preintervention and intervention groups. Patients in the intervention group were provided information on oral care, dental supplies, and an intentional conversation with the registered nurse about the importance of oral care.

Results: The intervention group did show an 11% increase in the number of patients reporting oral care completion before elective CVS.

Conclusions: The intervention of providing oral care information, dental supplies, and the intentional conversation did motivate patients to complete oral care before elective surgery. The simple and cost-effective intervention of patients brushing their teeth before elective surgery could reduce the number of microbes in their oral cavity and lessen the risk of HAP (Chughaiet al., 2017).