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Insights from a registered nurse: Better mechanisms needed; Stakeholders should do better.

Reflections that came from my cousin-in-law, a registered nurse, about older adults and fall prevention.

Photo of Sharifah Williams
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I interviewed my cousin-in-law. She is a registered nurse and works currently in a school setting (previously at a hospital). I chose to interview her in order to get an expert opinion on the subject. Her perspective would be very interesting to learn from.

Some background information:

My cousin-in-law is married to my first cousin on my mother's side. She is currently very passionate about the medical field. She went back to get more education on the subject. She is currently also pursuing graduate education in the subject. Therefore, she is more up-to-date on the various topics in the medical field. She can be caught always discussing her work and displaying her medical knowledge.

This can be a result of the news. It could also be helping cure various family members of their ailments. She is a fountain of knowledge in this regard. I personally go to her for help whenever I am sick periodically. It is nice to have a registered nurse that lives with you. My cousin-in-law seemed quite unruffled about the subject initially. As I interviewed her, I could see and feel her passion. I believe that my cousin-in-law really likes science. 

Mechanisms: 

Falls should be preventable. There is absolutely no reason why a person should fall. Mechanisms are put into place to do just that. The amount of mechanisms is numerous. For instance, hospitals are a good example. They really want preventable falls in their halls.

Environments:

The environment is important for the implementation of fall prevention. These environments should familiar. They should be in older adult homes for instance. This is in contrast to institutionalizing.  That is the importance of the environment.

The Aftermath:

There should be more mechanisms to prevent a fall than to cure one. The opposite is currently true however.

Learnings:

  • Mechanisms are important for fall prevention.
  • The implementation of fall prevention is beholden to environments especially familiar ones.
  • The implementation of a great deal more mechanisms to prevent falls should equal and exceed the number of those implement to cure falls.

Hospital:

I asked my cousin-in- law various questions in regards to fall prevention. The word hospital or a variation kept coming up a lot for a total of six times which lead to my belief that the hospital is a stakeholder that holds much significance.

Fall prevention can not be just the responsibility of hospitals. Currently, hospitals take various measures such as schedules and the call bell for the patients' safety and comfort. It should also be noted that it is important to get the word out about how the hospital stay length directly correlates to the recovery length. Furthermore, a policy for fall prevention would help all stakeholders including hospitals. Therefore, everyone benefits.

Learning: The hospital is a stakeholder that holds much significance!

Recovery:

Meaning:

The steps taken after you recover are just as important as prevention/cure. This piece of information speaks to a broader audience. 

Significance:

The recovery is critical to overall well being. In addition, falling can have a financial cost. Thus, the two work in tandem to contribute overall together.

Learning: Recovery has a significant role to play when it comes to fall prevention; thus, seemingly unrelated concepts like recovery and costs actually correlate.

... and evidence.

Evidence has its uses. Evidence has to be within reach for medical personnel to do their jobs effectively. Evidence based practice provide proof of facts for people. This also correlates to proven ways.

Learnings: Evidence allows medical personnel to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. Evidence proves facts true.

Overall learnings

  • Mechanisms should be improved in order to better aid the fight for fall prevention. Mechanisms for fall prevention should not just equal but exceed the number of mechanisms for fall treatments.
  • Hospitals are a major stakeholder that help fall prevention in numerous ways from implementable mechanisms to providing resources.
  • Recovery is also a factor of fall prevention. Recovery includes the financial costs taken to cure an older adult.
  • Evidence plays a key role because it is used to help hospitals operate. Evidence is also used as a way to make sure that facts are understood.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

What are better mechanisms that can be implemented for fall prevention? Why are there more mechanisms to cure falls than to prevent them initially? Why are not other stakeholders taking equal or greater steps than hospitals to aid in the fight for fall prevention? How might we re-frame evidence so that it is a concept to be used by both medical personnel and the average, everyday person?

Tell us about your work experience:

I am currently a student at NYU (Management of Technology) taking Design Thinking as an elective.

4 comments

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Photo of Kate Rushton

Great post, Sharifah! I wonder what a 'fall-free' world would look and feel like. Do you have any ideas?

Photo of Sharifah Williams

Dear Ms. Rushton,
Here is to hoping all is well. Thank you! Um, I am not sure. I think a fall-free world would mean a greater quality of life for people in general. It would mean more time with loved ones. It would also mean being able to cherish that time more too. A fall-free world would look wonderful in my opinion.
Thank you,
Sharifah Williams

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