Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Kerry Nolte

Second Advisor

Debra Lajoie


Background: Rapid fluid resuscitation is essential to the management of pediatric shock, but there are many barriers to published guideline adherence. Limited evidence describing emergency department (ED) nurse’s knowledge and attitudes of fluid resuscitation exists. This study described pediatric ED nurse’s knowledge and attitudes of fluid resuscitation.

Methods: This single-site descriptive study used survey methodology. A 23-question survey was distributed to nurses in the ED at Boston Children’s Hospital. The survey measured nurse’s knowledge, attitudes, and perceived barriers to fluid resuscitation.

Results: Findings suggested gaps found between actual and perceived knowledge consistent with prior evidence. There was a 50.9% response rate to the survey, with the majority of the participants holding a bachelor’s degree and a nursing certification. One of the top concerns nurses considered with each method of fluid resuscitation was the IV gauge. Thematic analysis identified the need for further education, environmental modifications, staffing consistent with patient acuity, and piloting of new devices.

Conclusion: Pediatric nurses' knowledge and attitudes varied, and improving knowledge will enhance the provision of safe and effective care. Educational interventions should incorporate a variety of modalities and reassess frequency needed to maintain competency. Education should encourage consideration of all fluid resuscitation options. Demographics provided insight into how perception, years of experience, education level, and certifications related to knowledge. Limitations included that this was a single-center descriptive study with a small convenience sample. Additionally, this study took place during the COVID pandemic and social unrest which may have impacted survey response.