Date of Completion of Thesis/SIP

Spring 5-1-2020

Document Type

Scholarly Inquiry Paper (SIP)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Jenny A. Prochnow

Abstract

Falls is a major public health problem globally, with an estimated 646,000 fatal falls per year. This makes falls the second leading cause of unintentional injury death. Falls are very costly with non-fatal fall injuries costing about $50 billion per year and fatal falls with an estimated $754 million. Many risk factors contribute to a person’s risk of falling. Risk factors include age, gender, muscle strength, underlying medical or disabling conditions, and unsafe environments. Patients who have been hospitalized are also among those at risk. Most hospitalized patients are assessed frequently to determine their risk of falling so that care plans can be adjusted to implement strategies to avoid a fall. However, nurses frequently discharge patients with little to no education or tools to prevent falls at home. The purpose of this scholarly inquiry project is to explore the best practices for fall prevention after discharging home from the hospital. An extensive integrative literature review highlighted evidence that supports and arms patients, families, and support systems with tools that will help prevent a fall at home after being discharged from the hospital. A conceptual map details the interventions that need to be integrated at discharge to help create a home fall prevention plan of care. Three themes emerged from the literature and include criteria for implementing falls risk discharge interventions, fall risk discharge interventions, and the outcomes from the interventions. Recommendations for nursing are also built into this project that can guide nurses in protecting patients by implementing evidence-based strategies to prevent patients from falling at home after discharge and decrease the risk of reoccurring hospitalizations or fall fatality.

Comments

I would like to thank my Advisor Dr. Jenny Prochnow for all of the support and kind words of encouragement throughout the work on this project. I also would like to thank Dr. Carole E. Jenson for her involvement as an additional committee member and for her insightful comments with regard to the project. I would like to thank my friends and colleagues for always supporting my continued education. I would also like to thank my employers (Essentia Health Saint Joseph's Medical Center, Brainerd, MN, and Central Lakes College, Brainerd, MN) for being so flexible and supportive throughout this journey. Lastly, I would l like to thank my family for their support, patience, and understanding, thank you!

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