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Safety in the Acute Care Setting: Fall Prevention (Nursing)

by Samantha Rhea

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    00:01 All right, so this slide looks a little fun, but it's really a bad bad deal.

    00:06 So let's look at this question: How many patients do you think fall in the hospital in the US each year? So you're probably looking at option 1,2,3, and 4 and you're like, you're crazy, there's no way.

    00:20 Now, falls are one of the biggest issues-- I'll give you that little hint-- the biggest issues in hospitals today.

    00:28 So you may not have guessed it, but 700,000 to a million patients.

    00:36 Man, I'm gonna say it again, 700,000 to a million patients fall every year in the hospital.

    00:43 So you may think, no, it's a fall, not a big deal.

    00:46 But what we're not considering if someone breaks a hip.

    00:50 Let's say someone hits their head, and they're on a blood thinner, a patient can bleed.

    00:55 Even mortality and death can come from a fall.

    00:58 So as you can imagine, fall prevention is huge.

    01:01 And if you remember earlier, like we are talking about why we put that screening tool in place.

    01:08 So that screening tool is gonna help prompt some interventions.

    01:12 One of those is called a fall risk armband.

    01:15 So you get a beautiful little bracelet that says, 'hey, I'm a fall risk'.

    01:19 Now you're thinking, well, it's kind of embarrassing.

    01:21 Well, the reason why we've got that is if I'm someone that maybe has not met the patient.

    01:26 Let's say I'm gonna take you to surgery, If I come in your room, and you're wearing your bracelet, 'I know, wait a minute, okay, I can't leave this patient alone when I tried to transfer them to their wheelchair'.

    01:37 So the fall risk armband communicates to all people that come in contact with the patient that they're at risk for falls.

    01:45 The next thing you may see is some sort of indicator or falling star system,or a "call don't fall".

    01:52 So I just talked about the falling star system, I think it's kind of cute, it's one of my favorites.

    01:57 You may see this sign like this, that says "call don't fall", meaning, 'Hey, if you're in bed as a patient, and I see this, I got to remember to use my call light to get up'.

    02:07 The other thing you may see in the hospital is what I just mentioned, it looks like a little falling star.

    02:13 And it's kind of a cute way to say, 'hey, anytime I walk by a patient's room and I see this star, I know that if that patient tries to get up, I need to go assist them'.

    02:23 Just kind of like the 'call don't fall', we also want to make sure we answer the call lights promptly.

    02:29 Now not only fall but for patient satisfaction, I cannot stress answering a call light quickly and how important that is.

    02:37 Now nothing will make a patient more mad than if you do not answer their call light.

    02:43 So first of all, let's backtrack. What's a call light? So if I'm in a patient in a room, and I'm in my hospital bed, and let's say I need to go use the bathroom, if I'm supposed to 'call don't fall' like we just talked about and I hit my call light, and I'm waiting, and I'm waiting 10-15 minutes, kind of long, but maybe I can hold it for about 10 or 15 minutes.

    03:05 But what if someone doesn't come for like an hour? So I don't know about you, but I'm gonna try to get up and go to the bathroom.

    03:12 So there's things like this that are so important and answering call lights is not only a fall prevention, but it's also a patient satisfaction ordeal.

    03:22 So yes, we have socks.

    03:24 What about the socks, what's so special about the socks? So we actually have special socks that the patients wear in the hospital.

    03:33 So they actually have these wonderful little grips on the bottom.

    03:37 That way if a patient tries to get up, they've got little grippers on their socks so they will not slide.

    03:43 If you've ever been in a patient room, some of those tiles are pretty slippery.

    03:49 Next, let's talk about a bed alarm.

    03:52 Okay, so this is a whole different thing. This is very annoying, it's very loud.

    03:56 But if you do clinicals in the hospital setting and you hear that thing go off, you're gonna see people bolting.

    04:02 Well, that's a good thing though.

    04:04 We put a bed alarm underneath the patient that may or may not cognitively remember to call me or call the nurse before they need to go get up, so the bed alarm is great for that.

    04:15 And when you sound the alarm, you'll see staff come running.

    04:18 So the next thing to talk about is purposeful hourly rounding.

    04:22 And we're gonna get a little bit more detailed than that but it's just like it sounds.

    04:26 We go in with each hour making sure we're checking on our patient and do it with a purpose.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Safety in the Acute Care Setting: Fall Prevention (Nursing) by Samantha Rhea is from the course Safe and Effective Patient Care (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Placing a fall risk armband on the client
    2. Answering call lights promptly
    3. Turning bed alarms on
    4. Having the client walk barefoot
    5. Rounding on the client only when they need care or ask for help
    1. The sooner the client receives help, the less likely they are to do something on their own.
    2. The client won't get frustrated with the nurse and get up on their own out of anger.
    3. The client will be more compliant with care, resulting in better safety.
    4. The sooner the nurse answers the client, the less likely it is that the family of the client will intervene.

    Author of lecture Safety in the Acute Care Setting: Fall Prevention (Nursing)

     Samantha Rhea

    Samantha Rhea


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