Nursing

Study: More nurses means less patient restraints

Nurse Leader Insider, September 8, 2016

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Nurse Leader Insider!

The use of restraints to prevent patients from hurting themselves or disrupting medical equipment is a common practice in many hospitals, but it has come under scrutiny over the past few years. Last month, the Journal of General Internal Medicine published a study that investigated the use of patient restraints in hospital settings. Research has suggested that restraints can have many negative outcomes, from adverse psychological effects and confusion to strangulation, so the study authors sought to find ways to limit the use of restraints. Their advice? Increase nursing staff.

The study used data from over 900,000 patients over a five-year period, and they found a correlation between nursing staff levels and patient restraints. Hospitals that had a low number of registered nurses on duty were 11% more likely to use patient restraints, and hospitals that had a very low number were 18 percent more likely to rely on restraints. Additionally, hospitals with fewer nurses were more likely to use restraints as a means of fall prevention. The researchers point out that nurses are better trained to meet patient needs and prevent falls without using restraints, making them better suited to find alternatives to patient restraints compared to physicians. So keeping nurses properly staffed is the best way to ensure patients receive proper care.

You can read the full study here.
 



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Nurse Leader Insider!

Most Popular