Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.
When Jane's father died, she was more than happy to have her mother move in with her. However, as the years passed, her mother grew increasingly weak and unsteady. She also noticed that her mother would become confused and forgetful in the evenings. One night, Jane woke up to find her mother had gotten out of bed and fallen in her bathroom. Jane worried about her mother's safety and felt she could no longer sufficiently care for her mother in her home. But, would a nursing home be a safer solution? In this lesson, we'll follow Jane as she consults with a representative from a nursing home. You'll learn about devices used in nursing that promote patient safety.
Jane visited Restful Pines Nursing Home to meet with Sue, who was the representative that would show Jane around the facility. Sue assured Jane that creating an environment that was safe for the patients was a high priority for the Restful Pines staff.
She mentioned that, like Jane's mother, many of the nursing home residents had a desire to continue walking but were growing increasingly unsteady. To help Jane's mother, Sue discussed the use of a mobility aid, such as a cane, which is an assistance device with a single handle, or walker, which is an assistance device with four widely placed legs or wheels. Canes, walkers, and other mobility devices allow patients to continue independent mobility with less fear of a fall. They're also used to prevent physical weakening and help patients avoid pressure ulcers that can develop when a patient spends long hours in a seat or bed. Sue went on to explain that Jane's mother would be fitted for the right mobility device. For instance, walkers come in different heights to match the height of the user. She also mentioned that Jane's mother would be introduced to a physical or occupational therapist who would train her in how to properly use a mobility device.
Jane felt this was a good way for her mother to remain safe while walking, but she did have a concern. Jane mentioned to Sue that her mother was growing increasingly forgetful and confused. After hearing a story about how Jane's mother had gotten out of bed and fallen, Sue asked Jane to walk with her into one of the resident's bedrooms so she could show her another device used to promote safety.
In the bedroom, Jane learned about bed rails, which are board-like devices that run the length of the bed that can be raised and lowered. Sue shared some of the benefits of bed rails, including a feeling of security, a reduced risk of falling out of bed, and an aid for turning while in bed. However, she noted that Jane's mother would need to be evaluated to determine if bed rails were right for her due to the potential risks of bed rail use. These risks include injuries from trying to crawl over the rail, a feeling of isolation, and even strangulation or suffocation due to being caught between the rails.
Sue could tell that Jane was feeling a bit unsure about how her mother would feel about bed rails. While Jane saw how they could prevent her mother from having another late night fall, she worried about how her mother would feel about the loss of free movement.
Jane asked about other restraints that might be used at Restful Pines. Sue explained that restraints were devises used to restrict movement in a patient. She explained that there are many different types of restraints, such as belts that help a patient remain in a bed or chair, extremity restraints that go around the patient's wrists or ankles to reduce the risk of falling out of bed and prevent the patient from pulling out therapeutic devices, and mitten restraints that go over the hands and prevent patients from dislodging medical equipment or scratching themselves.
Sue explained that restraints were typically a last option and that their use was only permitted under the direction of a doctor. If a restraint was used, its use was monitored closely to detect any change in a patient's skin integrity, circulation, or breathing.
Jane felt better after taking the tour of the nursing home and talking with Sue. She felt that the devices she learned about would help the nurses take good care of her mother, and provide her with the safe, comfortable environment she deserved.
In this lesson, you learned about a cane, which is an assistance device with a single handle, and a walker, which is an assistance device with four widely placed legs or wheels. These mobility devices allow patients to continue independent mobility with less fear of a fall.
You also learned about bed rails, which are board-like devices that run the length of the bed that can be raised and lowered. Bed rails can provide patients with a feeling of security, a reduced risk of falling out of bed, and an aid for turning while in bed. However, there are risks associated with bed rails, including injuries from trying to crawl over the rail, a feeling of isolation, and even strangulation or suffocation due to being caught between the rails.
Restraints are devises used to restrict movement in a patient. Examples include belts, extremity restraints, and mitten restraints. Restraints are only permitted under the direction of a doctor and require close patient monitoring.
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