Evidence demonstrates that shocking patients in ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia in 2 minutes or less leads to improved outcomes. At our facility in Orlando, Florida, 4 of 7 time to first shock fallouts occurred in the intensive care unit. No standardization for conducting code situations existed in the intensive care unit.


To develop nurse simulation education and training to standardize intensive care unit code processes and improve compliance with timely defibrillation.


The sample consisted of intensive care unit nurses. Interventions included online education, simulation, and a postintervention survey. Analysis was conducted using the Get With the Guidelines program as well as descriptive statistics.


Online education assigned to all intensive care unit nurses included electrocardiogram recognition and code documentation. Nurses and physicians collaborated to develop a diagram to identify roles needed for successful conduct of a code situation. A code simulation video was created, reflecting these roles, and embedded in the online education. The education was graded and remediated one-on-one with nurses. Intensive care unit nurses completed structured code simulations, allowing them to practice serving as the leader. Three months after the intervention, a survey was distributed to nurses.


The time to first shock fallouts in the intensive care unit decreased by 100%, and the facility’s fallouts decreased by 71%. The facility’s adherence to the time to first shock metric increased from 42% to 83%. In a postintervention survey, 89% of nurses reported perceived improvement in knowledge, team leadership and communication, and confidence associated with code events.


Online education and code simulation positively affected time to first shock in code situations and empowered nurses to confidently function in these situations.

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