Paper Type

Doctoral Project


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. John P. McDonough

Second Advisor

Dr. W. Patrick Monaghan

Department Chair

Dr. Lillia Loriz

College Dean

Dr. Pamela S. Chally


Postoperative pain is of serious concern to patients and anesthesia providers alike. Management of a patients’ pain is a central component of anesthesia care. Ketamine as an anesthetic agent has been available for 50 years. It has been utilized as a general anesthetic and selectively as an anesthetic agent for high-risk patients. Due to dysphoric side effects associated with the dosage required to render general anesthesia, anesthesia providers may be reluctant to utilize this medication to its full potential. Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in ketamine as an analgesic agent. The researcher for this project performed a thorough literature review focusing on intravenous ketamine as an adjunct to standard opioid-based analgesia for postoperative pain. Four systematic reviews published in the last 10 years support the safety and efficacy of ketamine when administered intravenously in sub-anesthetic doses. The purpose of this project was to provide evidence-based education to anesthesia providers regarding the benefits of ketamine and follow-up to evaluate for evidence of changes in practice after the educational At a large community hospital data concerning ketamine utilization by anesthesia providers as a component of multimodal analgesia was collected for a six-month period, including three months pre- and three months post-educational intervention. Despite various methods utilized to present evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of ketamine, the results of this study demonstrated no significant change in practice. Based upon the extensive published literature the evidence is compelling that the addition of a sub-anesthetic (0.5 mg/kg) dose of ketamine to the surgical patient’s operative pain management plan would improve comfort and decrease opioid-related side effects with minimal negative impact.