Course Overview

Brief

This Course will look at fall risk screening and assessment, why identifying appropriate fall risk interventions is important, and what we as healthcare professionals need to be aware of to provide best practice falls prevention at the bedside.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply your understanding of best practice falls prevention to be able to identify why screening and assessment is required
  • Use enhanced knowledge of risk factors for falling to identify patients who require screening and assessment
  • Identify patients at high risk of injury should they fall to ensure appropriate interventions are in place to mitigate risk

Topics include:

  • Why recognise risk at the bedside?
  • Risk factors – personal and environmental
  • Identifying risk and implementing interventions
  • Caring for your patient after a fall

Target audience

Nurses and other health professionals working in inpatient wards of public and private hospitals and residential aged care facilities.

Purpose

Enhance knowledge and skills in relation to simple and effective screening and assessment processes that can be used at the bedside to prevent falls and harm from falls.

Need

Falls pose a serious threat to patient safety, with costs resulting from falls reported at being between 0.85—1.5% of the total healthcare expense in Australia and other large Western countries. Accidental falls are among the most common incidents reported in hospitals. Growing evidence indicates that falls occurring in the hospital can be reduced with planning and intervention techniques, however there is limited research that has been published on fall reduction strategies written by staff nurses. Additionally, research has shown that when interventions are developed in an interprofessional manner, they can reduce falls by 20–30%. Nurses are well positioned to drive organisational change to prevent falls through a team approach to planning, implementing and evaluating a falls prevention program. Nurses are also well placed to recognise a change in a patient’s risk of falling and therefore can play an integral part in communicating this to all members of the health care team. Research found that while many hospitals have good falls policies, many had difficulty putting this into practice.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

Educators

Diana Clayton

Diana Clayton is a clinical nurse consultant who works for Peninsula Health in the Falls Prevention Service. She initially set up the inpatient falls prevention program and currently oversees the program in the subacute and residential care settings. She has been in her current role for 13 years and has presented at a number of conferences over that time. She is a passionate advocate for falls prevention across the whole health spectrum.