Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Kathleen Farrell, DNSc, RN


Practice Problem: The organization lacked an evidence-based intervention for behavioral emergencies within the inpatient acute care setting, leading to increased mechanical restraints. A security-driven paradigm was the organization's primary tool for addressing behavioral crises and lacked a more patient-centered treatment and support paradigm.

PICOT: The PICOT question that guided this project was In the Veteran patient population admitted to acute inpatient services (P), how does having a behavioral code team respond to behavioral emergencies (I) compared to the current practice (C) affect the prevalence of mechanical restraint usage (O) within an eight week period (T).

Evidence: Seven high-quality studies met the inclusion criteria and found that a behavioral code team was an evidence-based practice. Behavioral code teams provide patient-centered care by providing a team of mental health professionals to respond to behavioral emergencies and promote a patient-centered treatment and support paradigm.

Intervention: Implemented and tracked a behavioral code team consisting of mental health professionals in an inpatient setting to assist with de-escalating disruptive behaviors and avoiding the use of mechanical restraints.

Outcome: The result of the two-tailed paired sample t-test was not statistically significant for the behavioral code team. However, the behavioral code team did result in clinical significance with an overall decrease in the number of mechanical restraints utilized during a behavioral emergency.

Conclusion: The behavioral code team provided a patient-centered care environment that ensured mental health professionals treated behavioral emergencies.


Scholarly project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice

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