Healthcare Staff Responsible for Falls From the Start

Nursing patients are vulnerable and deserve protection.

Experts Cite Training, Assessment, and Education as the way to Prevent Fall Injuries for Vulnerable Residents.

The job for nursing staff to protect residents and patients begins right at admission. That is how the Director of Nursing expert in charge of a St. Louis-area nursing home explains it. As outlined recently in the Medical provider news resource, MedPage Today, Michelle Kimball, RN, BSN, emphasized that the first thing staff must do: “get to know their patient.”

The need for familiarity is because patient care is unique to the individual. Staff come to the facility with education and training. Then, the nursing home is responsible to define their policies for assessing and caring for residents. This includes carrying out treatments per doctors orders and according to nursing orders. That all provides the basics for good care for nursing residents.

It sets the stage for the key moment in the nursing care: the admission. As Nurse Kimball explains, the issues that can cause falls can be learned from understanding the patient’s medical conditions and their personality. Medications can cause dizziness. Urinary infections can cause a frequent urgent need to get up to use the bathroom. Memory issues can make it difficult for residents to recall where they are or remember to ask for help.

All of this is central to the Admission process because falls are so dangerous. Nursing residents who are generally healthy but need rehabilitative care–following a medical event, a surgery, or a fall at home–are especially vulnerable to serious injury from a fall.  The stakes are high. The staff must begin with a full and accurate evaluation of the patient, get to know who they are, but then must put that knowledge into action. This means carrying out the safety precautions that will protect from the catastrophic consequences of a fall.

If you have questions about nursing care or injuries related to nursing care, please call one of the lawyers at Dwyer & Coogan. They are here to discuss the problems that may be occurring at a nursing facility.