If you can find a way to make sure no one ever falls again you’d be a billionaire. Falls is the most common injury in the hospital and other facilities like nursing homes. Falls include if a visitor trips and fall or if a patient or resident has a fall. They cost facilities so much money because of the extra care. When someone falls we have to give them an extra 24hours in the hospital minimum, extra scans and test, and of course extra monitoring. All this extra care the facility is responsible for, because it was our duty to create a safe enviroment.
See how I said you’d be a billionaire.
What is a fall?
A fall is not just when someone hits the floor unexpectedly. A fall can also be if we as caregivers assist the patient to the floor. For example if we were walking with a patient and they started to get weak we would help ease them to the floor or a chair, sometimes this is considered a fall.
What do we do to prevent falls?
Until you come up with an amazing invention or idea, falls will happen. We can try and reduce the amount of falls that happen.
1.We can reduce the number of falls by listening and paying attention to our patients and their limits. Do not push them past their limits where they tire out because this increases risk of falls.
2.Answer call lights or calls for help ASAP. If you can’t do it get someone to help you out and go check on them. When you make them wait, they start trying to do it themselves even if they can’t and they end up falling.
3.Set bed or chair alarms. If they are likely to try and get up or if they are fidgety go ahead and set a bed alarm or a chair alarm. This will alert everyone on the unit that this patient is trying to get up and everyone will run to the rescue. True TEAMWORK.
4.Place them close to the nurses station. Make sure their room in near the nurses station so that if they do need help they are closer to help and anyone can pitch in when needed. If they were down the hall further away, when the alarm went off we would have a long way to run and they would likely already be up by the time we get there.
5.Reduce clutter. Make sure there are clear pathways for them to get around so they don’t trip and fall over things on the floor. You can also have a well lit path by placing night lights to help them see in the dark.
6. Slip resistant socks or shoes. Make sure that whats on their feet has some kind of grip. Most times facility floors are slick and smooth. You could go sock skating, but we don’t want that for our patients. So make sure before they put their foot on the floor they have grips on their feet.
7. Reduce hookups. Sometime they can be hooked up to machines like oxygen, iv poles, feeding tubes, or breathing machines. Try and make sure the cords and tubing are extra long so it doesn’t yank them back. Also reduce the things they truly don’t need.
What causes falls?
There are several things that can cause falls even in you. Sometimes something as simple as getting up to quickly can cause falls. You know that dizzy, light headed feeling you get that throws your balance off, that can cause falls.
Other things that cause falls. This list may not be all inclusive.
- Poor eyesight
- Bathroom urgency
- Poor lighting
Make sure you pay attention to your patient/resident to avoid any harm to them. Again remember that falls will happen, just evaluate the situation, learn from it and adjust. To learn more about Legacy School or Healthcare click here.
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