The Positive And Effective Use Of Restraints For Patient Safety

1035 words - 4 pages

According to Ruth Craven, Constance Hirnle, and Sharon Jensen in Fundamentals of Nursing Human Health and Function a restraint is used to stop a patient from being able to move freely, whether it be physically or assisted with medication. Types of restraints include physical, chemical, nonviolent/self-destructive, violent/self-destructive, and seclusion. Ultimately restraints are used in situations to help keep both the patient and the staff caring for that patient safe. The purpose of this paper is to recognize and explore ways to improve the use of bed restraints and further educate nurses on proper use to enhance patient safety. This is relevant in today’s healthcare setting, because there is still a need to keep patients safe and provide them with quality care, which may include the use of restraints.
There has been debate on whether or not restraints are safe for patients. Tammelleo (1992) states that the use of restraints cause approximately 200 deaths every year, some of which include instances where a restraint was not necessary for the patient. Misuse is another important factor in the safeness and effectiveness of bed restraints. Misuse and tragic accidents have lead to the involvement of the FDA and recommendation calls that every medical institution must have and practice protocols for proper use of restraints (72). Tammelleo goes on to discuss recommended alternatives that should be explored before resorting to the use of restraints. Restraining patients may seem like the easier and quicker way to handle a patient, it is not always the best. Some alternative measures include wedging pads or pillows against the sides of a wheelchair to keep the patient in a good position, soften lights, provide soft music, spend extra time with such patients, position the bed lower to the floor to prevent falls, or ask a family member to stay with their loved one until they fall asleep (72-73). The researcher goes on to discuss that restraints can be used on patients for their safety if necessary, but a nurse must obtain an order from the physician. When applying a restrain is crucial that the correct form of restraint be used depending on each specific patient, make sure the device is the right size, check the positioning of the restraint, and finally tie knots that are easy to release in case of an emergency. Finally, document the interventions and outcomes, including what measures were taken to avoid the use of restraints initially (pg 74).
Exploring further into the concerns regarding restraints Masharia Clark (2005) describes the use of restraints on a patient in her article, Involuntary Admission and the Medical Inpatient: Judicious Use of Physical Restraint. Clark states that physical restraints violate a patient’s right to independence. The article separates different restraints into three separate classes. Class I includes wrist restraints, roll belts, geri/wheelchair with tabletop, mitts, and full bed rails. Class II is any combination of...

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