Patient Falls

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Preventing Patient Falls in Inpatient Hospital Settings

Introduction
For the most part, hospitals are places where one comes for healing and it is place where our clients should feel safe and away from harm. Nurses have an important role as a patient advocate and are to provide all clients with safe, compassionate, and quality care at all times. Nonetheless, the hospital can also be a dangerous place for inpatients. It is a foreign environment to clients and there may be alterations in their medical condition in regards to their physical and/or mental status. With this said, there is a need to improve upon how we care for our clients, especially those who are at most risk for various incidents. Background

Certain facilities have dedicated efforts such as research and quality improvement teams to prevent incidents, yet patient falls still make up the largest category of reported incidents in hospitals (The Joint Commission, 2007). As nurses, we see fall prevention programs such as using fall risk assessment tools to determine how many our patients are at risk for falls. In the inpatient setting, nurses also implement bed alarms and encourage “fall risk” clients to use the call light especially while getting up and out of bed. Although these tools ensure some security for our clients, it is not enough as it does not fully protect our patient population. This problem is significant to nursing as it compromises the safety and well-being of our clients, affects the length of stay, and also affects finances for both the patient and the hospital. So the question is: how can we promote safer hospital stays and prevent inpatient falls? Method

“This exploratory study used a qualitative research design that was conducted in one acute, medical adult unit (32 beds) in a Michigan medical center. The clinical nurses who currently work in the study unit were recruited for interviews.” (Tzeng, 2008) These participants were asked for their input regarding how and why...
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