Assignment 1 NUR 629 RISK MANAGEMENT ASSIGNMENT:
As we have explored various professional and organizational risks facing health care today and reviewed risk management tools, processes and strategies to address risks, the written assignment this week asks you to consider the risks within your own unit, department or organization, Based on your experience in a current or past position within a health care organization, please prepare a 3-5 page paper (excluding reference page and title page) that addresses the following prompts:
- Identify a risk to your unit, department, or organization.
- Describe the type of risk it is why you feel this is a risk.
- Discuss the likelihood of this risk occurring and what the impact to the unit, department, or organization would be should the risk occur.
- What strategies does your unit, department or organization currently use to mitigate or prevent these risks from occurring?
- Based on your review, what additional strategies might you recommend in light of your findings?
Be sure to use appropriate references to the literature to support your analysis and recommendations.
Risk in My Unit
Working in the dementia unit of a long-term care hospital, the main risk in my unit is the risk of falls. Patients suffering from dementia are highly susceptible to depression. Depression makes patients with dementia to be less physically active and affects their feeding habits and sleep significantly. The poor feeding habits of dementia patients make them frail which increases the risk of fall. The poor sleeping patterns of dementia patients can also contribute to a higher risk of falls as the patients may be generally disoriented.
Type of risk
The risk of falls among dementia patients in a long-term care facility can be classified as an environmental risk. This is because numerous environmental factors in a long-term care facility combine to increase the risk of falls. Numerous factors contribute to the risk of falling among dementia patients, which include having difficulties with memory and finding one’s way around (Fernando et al., 2017). Dementia patients are also more likely to experience challenges with balance mobility and muscle weaknesses, and frailty. These physical challenges significantly increase the risk of falls among dementia patients. Dementia patients can also encounter a lot of challenges reacting to situations and processing what they see. The lack of proper processing of visual stimuli among dementia patients contributes significantly to the increased risk of falls (Peek et al., 2018). Dementia patients are also at an increased risk of falling because they take a lot of medication to manage their condition, which can lower their blood pressure, make them dizzy and drowsy, and thus significantly increase the risk of falling. Depression among dementia patients also increases their risk of falls. Finally, dementia patients are highly susceptible to falls because their condition makes it difficult for them to communicate their needs, worries, or needs to healthcare providers. Dementia patients may therefore try to conduct certain activities for themselves or make certain movements that will increase their susceptibility to falls (Peek et al., 2018).
Likelihood of Risk Occurring and Impact On the Unit
Taking a risk inventory in the long-term care hospital and considering the dementia unit, the likelihood of falls occurring can be given a rating of 5, highlighting that falls highly likely to occur in the dementia unit. The impact of falls in the dementia unit can also be categorized as critical. Falls are therefore highly likely to occur in the dementia unit of a long-term care hospital because of the numerous risk factors that affect dementia patients. Such risk factors include lack of adequate balance mobility and muscle weakness among dementia patients (Bayen et al., 2017). Dementia patients can also have challenges with their memory and processing of visual stimuli, which makes them likely to fall. The medications that dementia patients take and their depression can also increase the probability of falling (Bayen et al., 2017).
An occurrence of falls among dementia patients will significantly impact both the patient and the long-term care facility in general. Falls can cause adverse health effects on dementia patients, which include broken bones and bruises (Wheatley et al., 2019). According to Bayen et al. (2017), at least 15 percent of patients over the age of 50 will die within 12 months after a fall resulting in a hip fracture. Scholarly studies have also shown that the mortality of elderly individuals will increase by up to 10 to 15 years after hip fracture. Fractures are therefore a significant risk factor in the dementia unit in a long-term care facility because they ultimately lead to the patient’s loss of life. The fractures that result from falls among dementia patients may also take longer to heal completely, while some elderly patients may fail to effectively recover from fractures as a result of falls. The loss of mobility resulting from falls can limit dementia patients to wheelchairs or bed rest.