The Positive and Effective Use of Restraints for Patient Safety Essay

The Positive and Effective Use of Restraints for Patient Safety Essay

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According to Ruth Craven, Constance Hirnle, and Sharon Jensen in Fundamentals of Nursing Human Health and Function a restraint is used to stop a patient from being able to move freely, whether it be physically or assisted with medication. Types of restraints include physical, chemical, nonviolent/self-destructive, violent/self-destructive, and seclusion. Ultimately restraints are used in situations to help keep both the patient and the staff caring for that patient safe. The purpose of this paper is to recognize and explore ways to improve the use of bed restraints and further educate nurses on proper use to enhance patient safety. This is relevant in today’s healthcare setting, because there is still a need to keep patients safe and provide them with quality care, which may include the use of restraints.
There has been debate on whether or not restraints are safe for patients. Tammelleo (1992) states that the use of restraints cause approximately 200 deaths every year, some of which include instances where a restraint was not necessary for the patient. Misuse is another important factor in the safeness and effectiveness of bed restraints. Misuse and tragic accidents have lead to the involvement of the FDA and recommendation calls that every medical institution must have and practice protocols for proper use of restraints (72). Tammelleo goes on to discuss recommended alternatives that should be explored before resorting to the use of restraints. Restraining patients may seem like the easier and quicker way to handle a patient, it is not always the best. Some alternative measures include wedging pads or pillows against the sides of a wheelchair to keep the patient in a good position, soften lights, provide soft music, spend extra ...

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...s well as the protocol for them at each facility. Ultimately restraints are an effective way to ensure the safety of patients as well those providing care to them. As long as measures are taken to educate faculty on the proper use of bed restraints they will continue to provide quality care to those in need of them.

Clark M. (2005). Involuntary Admission and the Medical Inpatient: Judicious use of Physical Restraint. MEDSURG Nursing, 14(4), 213-219.
Craven, R., Hirnle, C., Jensen, S. Fundamentals of Nursing Human Health and Function. (7th ed., pp. 584-586). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Kerzman, H., Chetrit, A., Brin, L., Toren, O. (2004). Characteristics of Falls in Hospitalized Patients. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 47(2), 223-229.
Tammelleo, A. D. (1992) Restraints: A Legal Catch-22? RN, 22(4), 72-76.

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