Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




In the 1990s, the medication Alteplase was starting to be used to treat ischemic stroke. It

is necessary to administer this medication within 4.5 hours from the time the person is last known to be without symptoms of stroke. To raise public awareness of stroke symptoms and the need to present to a hospital quickly to receive this medical treatment, the acronym FAST representing facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties, and time, was developed in 1998. FAST has successfully been used in many public awareness efforts. Research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of FAST in helping people remember the symptoms of stroke. Although FAST continues to be effective, it does not incorporate the symptoms of stroke in the posterior circulation of the brain. Recent efforts to update the acronym to include balance and eyes became BEFAST. Protocols for stroke codes have evolved into the emergency medical system to facilitate patients getting acute medical care as quickly as possible. Still, most people present beyond the window of time for the opportunity to receive Alteplase. Because of Alteplase effectiveness, an A is added to the acronym, BEFASTA. This project will provide an approach to educating people about the effectiveness of Alteplase to convince them to call 911 as quickly as possible when experiencing stroke symptoms. The questionnaire used to survey the attendees’ opinions before and after the educational session demonstrated that education does influence a person’s opinion. The results were conclusive that the audience all agreed if they were experiencing stroke symptoms they would call 911.


SC 11.DNP.2019.Swanson.HJ