A fall is defined as an event that results in a person unintentionally lying on the ground, the floor, or some other lower level. People who survive falls and suffer disabilities, especially the elderly, are at considerable risk of needing institutional admission and further long-term care (LeLaurin & Shorr, 2019). There is no consensus on an assessment method suitable for all healthcare settings, but selecting and applying the most appropriate method reduces the risk of falls. The most commonly used risk assessment method is the Morse Fall Scale, often used to identify patients who are more likely to fall due to hereditary or acquired risk factors. The article “Impact of Nurses’ Intervention in the Prevention of Falls in Hospitalized Patients” (2020) provides a comprehensive study of the impact of nurses receiving specialized training in reducing the risk of falls.
Purpose of the Research
The study’s main aim was to understand whether nurse training reduces the risk of falls in patients. This is an important topic to study because by identifying the method’s effectiveness for reducing falls, a safer environment can be created for both health care staff and patients. Regarding patients, falls can have severe consequences in the form of injuries of varying severity and fractures, the formation of pain syndrome, and loss of confidence in performing daily activities. Falls are not safe for nurses either, as they too can be physically harmed and even incapacitated. By identifying the positive impact of nurse training on reducing the risk of falls, researchers suggest making such training mandatory for all healthcare facilities. Thus, the aim of the study is also to improve the system of care in healthcare facilities. If the training is proven to be effective, institutions will have grounds not only to apply statistical fall risk assessment but also to make advanced training compulsory for nurses.
Dependent and Independent Variables of the Study
An independent variable is a variable that the experimenter deliberately manipulates to find out its effect on the dependent variable. As independent variables, the study cites a whole list of indicators. Firstly, the independent variables were the sex of the subjects and their age. The study included people regardless of gender, and age was categorized to trace the greater likelihood of falls amongst older people (Montejano-Lozoya et al., 2020). Another independent variable was the nursing unit. The study took place with a division of four nursing departments – general medicine, neurology; traumatology and urology; vascular surgery, and nephrology. In addition, the researchers divided the nurses. They created a control group, which had not been trained, to make a qualitative comparison and evaluate the results. Patients were also divided into two groups according to the length of hospital stay, 0 to 7 days and more than eight days. The list of independent variables also included the presence of surgery, degree of mobility, oxygen supply, and presence of catheters. In addition, the patients taking part in the study were assessed for nutritional status according to the Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form.
The number of falls can be identified as the dependent variable, that is, the one whose changes are associated with the independent variable. It varied throughout the experiment due to changes in the independent variables. For example, because the risk of falling increases in an older group of people, the number of actual falls would increase if more of them were included in the sample. The number of falls depended on changes in any independent variables individually or several of them at once. The main factor that influenced the total number of falls from the experiment was the nurses’ completion of training. However, other factors such as age, gender, and catheter presence in the subjects directly influenced the number of falls during the experiment.
This is a quasi-experimental study with a non-randomized control group. A randomization procedure was not carried out because patients were not randomly allocated to groups. The study was conducted in three phases, each of which took between one and five months. During the first phase, a pilot test was performed to help determine the study’s methods for collecting and compelling information (Montejano-Lozoya et al., 2020). The information collection methods used were special forms for completing the statistical data and a systematic form assessing the nurses. During the investigation, variables were measured using a comprehensive assessment of patients from psychological, biological, and sociological perspectives. The evaluation of the nurses was framed according to Virginia Henderson’s human needs model, as this model is the most relevant in this experiment.
During the second phase, training sessions were given to the nurses. In addition, they were also allowed to re-listen to the training session to consolidate the material better. At the beginning and the end of the training, the nurses performed a self-assessment of their knowledge of the topic. The final assessment showed a significant improvement in this indicator. The third stage was the definitive data collection. In this stage, patients were comprehensively assessed on all of the previously stated indicators. The researchers also conducted face-to-face interviews with the patients’ carers to ascertain whether the number of falls throughout the experiment had decreased.
To sum up, this study is instrumental and informative for the medical community. It uses quantitative methods to collect statistical data, which shows that it is objective. According to the study’s results, nurse education significantly reduces the risk of falls for patients. Thus, the researchers conclude that mandatory training for nurses is necessary. When healthcare institutions introduce such a system, the risk of injury to patients will decrease significantly, and healthcare services will improve.
LeLaurin, J. H., & Shorr, R. I. (2019). Preventing falls in hospitalized patients: State of the science. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 35(2), 273-283. Web.
Montejano-Lozoya, R., Miguel-Montoya, I., Gea-Caballero, V., Mármol-López, M. I., Ruíz-Hontangas, A., & Ortí-Lucas, R. (2020). Impact of nurses’ intervention in the prevention of falls in hospitalized patients. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(1), 1-14. Web.