Coronary Vasospasm : signs, symptoms, risk factors and management

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Registered nurses in the acute care setting are presented with the opportunity to interact with patients suffering from chest pain. One etiology behind chest pain, difficult to differentiate from the more common atherosclerosis, is coronary vasospasm. This health problem can be successfully identified based upon the presenting signs, symptoms, and risk factors. Nurses can then participate in carrying out medical and nursing management for this condition. An opportunity for continuing education is needed to update nursing knowledge. A review of professional literature was conducted and consistent themes derived that led to the development of a teaching project consisting of a pre and post evaluation, teaching slides, and a participant evaluation. This teaching project was designed to equip registered nurses, employed within a regional hospital, to recognize the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of coronary vasospasm as well as general medical and nursing management strategies. The teaching project was then made available to participants for a period of fourteen days via a computerized learning system available within the facility. The pre and post tests were then evaluated for differences in median and mean scores. Improvements in overall scores, as well as on the individual questions presented on the tests, were documented. These results lead to the conclusion that knowledge of the signs, symptoms, risk factors, medical, and nursing management increased following completion of the teaching project. Implications for future nursing practice, education, and research include the development of a teaching and evaluation tool that could be made available for continuing education on a larger scale to reach additional registered nurses.




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