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Elderly Patient Falls as a Nursing Care Issue

Nursing Care Issue

Patient falls are sentinel events that result in prolonged hospitalization, increased medical costs, poor health outcomes, and premature deaths. The selected issue for this discussion is that of fall prevention in elderly patients. Medical professionals should collaborate and present evidence-based strategies to ensure that more people receive high-quality and sustainable services (Qin & Baccaglini, 2016). Falls in the identified population tend to result in fractures, internal bleeding, and lacerations. Different stakeholders in this field can work together to reduce such events by 90 percent.

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Measures to Support the Issue in the Setting

When falls occur among the elderly, the chances are high that they will result in morbidity or mortality. According to Cheng et al. (2018), the rate of falls in many healthcare settings is around 4-5 per 1,000 bed-days. This is a clear indication that such a medical problem affects many patients in the United States. A report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) indicated that over 700,000 hospitalized patients fall annually (Dhargave & Sendhilkumar, 2016). The greatest number of these victims are aged 50 years and above. These indicators show that there is a need for different stakeholders to present appropriate initiatives to address this health dilemma. Fortunately, the use of modern technologies and patient support systems (PSSs) can tackle this challenge in many hospitals. Continuous training programs are capable of encouraging the elderly to exercise frequently, wear comfortable shoes, and embrace the power of assistive devices. Timely empowerment of caregivers, collaboration among clinicians, and positive patient-nurse relationships can deliver positive results.

Titles of Stakeholders and Their Roles in Improving This Nursing Care Issue

The ultimate goal of the healthcare sector is to provide exemplary, timely, personalized, and adequate medical support to all patients. The occurrence of falls among the elderly is a major barrier to this objective. A number of key stakeholders can present their efforts and competencies to improve this nursing care issue. Some of them include nurses, caregivers, elderly patients, physicians, health technologists, health managers, and social workers (Dhargave & Sendhilkumar, 2016). Nurses and caregivers can guide their patients to exercise frequently, the report falls immediately, and monitor one another. They can also remain vigilant and offer adequate assistance throughout the hospitalization period. Physicians should be ready to help those in need and guide their followers to support all patients. Health technologists can apply their expertise to present and install the right systems to deter or report falls immediately. Social workers should be ready to guide and train elderly patients in their respective homecare centers. Managers can go further to present adequate guidelines to reduce such sentinel events, ensure that beds are spaced properly, hire more professionals, and formulate policies that can improve the selected nursing care issue.

The Possible Causes of the Nursing Care Issue

Many hospitals and clinics have managed to implement powerful measures to prevent falls. Such strategies are usually informed by the potential causes of these sentinel events. The first one is the nature of the targeted population. Dhargave and Sendhilkumar (2016) argue that age is a leading factor associated with falls in different medical settings. The second one is the current predicament of nursing or workforce shortage in many institutions and hospitals. The third contributing factor is that many work environments are usually inefficient. Finally, many health practitioners lack adequate guidelines to follow when focusing on this nursing issue. The stakeholders outlined above should, therefore, focus on these factors in order to tackle the problem of falls successfully and ensure that elderly citizens record positive health outcomes


Cheng, P., Tan, L., Ning, P., Li, L., Gao, Y., Wu, Y., … Hu, G. (2018). Comparative effectiveness of published interventions for elderly fall prevention: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. International of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(3), 498-511. Web.

Dhargave, P., & Sendhilkumar, R. (2016). Prevalence of risk factors for falls among elderly people living in long-term care homes. Journal of Clinical Gerontology and Geriatrics, 7(3), 99-103. Web.

Qin, Z., & Baccaglini, L. (2016). Distribution, determinants, and prevention of falls among the elderly in the 2011–2012 California health interview survey. Public Health Reports, 131(2), 331-339. Web.

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