Essay

1764 words - 8 pages

A nurse newly admits a 65 year old female with a complaints of combativeness to caregiver to a mental health facility with a diagnosis of Dementia. The female was independent up until 6 months ago when the gradual onset of dementia has left her incapable of taking care of herself. The nurse directs the patient to sit on a chair while she runs over to another patient who is becoming agitated and combative with staff. 10 seconds later a loud scream and thud is heard in the newly admitted patient who was found on the floor with complaints of severe pain. Stat X-rays are ordered and reveal a hip fracture. The family is notified of the fracture and fall and the family threatens to sue the hospital.
Similar incidents are common across the board of healthcare. Patients falls are a rising problem in acute hospital and nursing rehabilitation centers. An inpatient fall is defined as “an incident in which a patient suddenly and involuntarily came to rest upon the ground or other surface” () A number of various factors place patients at risk of falling such as acute illness, surgery, medication, cognition state, and a controlled environment. Even if a fall does not result in death, it does protract and multiply health issues and creates comorbid conditions for clients. Falls can cause unwanted suffering and anguish which impedes ones autonomy to perform activities of daily living. As described in the above incident one fall can hinder patient care, place a healthcare workers job at risk, and place the healthcare setting at risk for litigation. It is important to notate, “Among older adults who sustain a hip fracture, nearly 50% never regain their previous level of functioning and 30% die within 6 months (Jorgensen, 2011)”. Practically any nurse can educe an occurrence where a client fell or was about to fall. Preventable falls are demoralizing to clients, family members, and to healthcare interdisciplinary teams. Falls are hot issues discussed in nursing journals and are on top of the “not to do” agenda of hospitals. Preventing falls is not an easy task because healthcare staff does not have enough manpower to monitor each patient 24/7 on a one to one basis. If patient falls were easy to eradicate they would not be a hot topic of hospital meetings. There is no solo technique that can eliminate fall encounters.
Economically falls create a strain on the healthcare system. As per the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007 medical costs relate to fatal falls totaled $179 million and $19 billion for nonfatal falls (Jorgenson, 2011). It is predicted if the fall incidences occurrence continue at this rate fall injuries related expenditures will reach $54.9 billion by the year of 2020. In this corporate oriented world it is a very difficult task to build a strong business out of hospitals due various quality factors that come into play. Ever since healthcare has become a pay for performance type of facet healthcare facilities strive to prevent...

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