Preventing Falls Among Post-Surgery Patients

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Melonie McDonel
Michelle Pham
Elaina Von Deylen
Mohammad Othman


Record ID: 95

Presenter Award: Excellence in Research Communication

Type: Poster Presentation (in-person)

Advisor: Mohammad Othman

Abstract: Approximately 700,000 - one-million hospitalized patients fall each year, resulting in extended hospital stays, increased healthcare costs, and serious injuries including death. The likelihood of patient falls is increased due to medication side effects used to control postoperative pain (i.e. opioids, sedatives). The purpose of this project is to educate approximately six same day surgery nurses on how educating their patients about their risk for falls during the preoperative period can result in increased understanding from patients and reduce their risk of falls after surgery. The PICOT question that guided this project was: will providing patient education during the preoperative period on how opiates can increase a patient's fall risk decrease the number of falls experienced by patients? A literature search was performed, limiting articles published between 2016-2023 and using keywords "fall prevention", "surgical patients", "opioids", and "increased falls". A pamphlet was created that nurses can refer to when educating patients about the risk of fall injuries due to opioid/sedative medications, and preventative measures to decrease risk for falls. The nurses will answer a questionnaire before and after the presentation on knowledge, understanding, and pamphlet effectiveness. Results are pending; however, if proven effective, preoperative education on the side effects of opioids will decrease the occurrence of patient falls. Serious fall-related injuries still exist, prompting hospitals to find new solutions to protect their patients. To ensure patient safety and establish trust in the hospital, addressing the long-standing issue of patient falls is crucial and requires the participation of every healthcare worker.

Article Details

Category: Educational Interventions
Author Biographies

Melonie McDonel, University of Cincinnati

Major(s): Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Michelle Pham, University of Cincinnati

Major(s): Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Elaina Von Deylen, University of Cincinnati

Major(s): Bachelor of Science in Nursing