Meet the SCH Fall Champions
Scratches. Bruises. Fractures. These are some possible
consequences when elderly patients fall. While patient safety is a common
responsibility, some shoulder the duty of fall prevention more than others.
They are our fall champions – a group of more than 40 nurses and ancillary
staff across the SKCH and OCH wards.
“Being a fall
champion is meaningful and exciting! We all know how falls can result in
serious injuries and surely do not want that to happen to our patients. Since
becoming a fall champion last September, I am fascinated and keen to explore
the many ways we can keep patients safe in our hospital,” said SKCH
Staff Nurse Azuela Rhea Joy Bugante.
Fall champions like SN Rhea work actively towards zero falls, springing
into action from the moment of patient admission. New patients get an
orientation of the ward environment as well as a brochure on fall prevention
tips. A fall risk assessment – assigning a low, moderate or high fall risk to
patients – would then be conducted so that appropriate measures can be taken accordingly.
“For patients with high fall risk, we stress the use of call bells
and remind them to wait for nurses to attend to them. We also pay extra
attention to this group of patients by ensuring that there is always one staff
looking out for them,” said SN Rhea.
Apart from having sharp eyes and being vigilant, it takes “a lot of
patience and understanding” to be a fall champion; especially when managing
patients who are cognitively impaired. This observation came from OCH Senior Staff Nurse
Fernandez Sheila Mae Deldo, who spoke from years of experience working in a
high fall risk ward at BVH, where she was based at previously.
nicknamed the “Fall Police”, the fall champions make monthly rounds to audit 10
random patients per ward to check if fall prevention measures are in place. The
group also ropes in other nurses when conducting bedside education sessions for
patients. Besides emphasising the importance of fall prevention, such sessions
allow staff to communicate with patients and hear their needs or challenges.
Back in their
respective wards, the fall champions partner Nurse Clinicians to analyse
patient falls and draw learning points to improve the fall prevention knowledge
for all nurses. The group also meets monthly to exchange feedback on ground
issues and brainstorm for solutions.
example, during one of these discussions, the group realised that a
contributing factor of falls was poor patient support during transfers. The
fall champions then engaged the Rehab team to conduct training on proper
lifting techniques for ward colleagues.
As and when
needed, the fall champions also connect with each other via TigerConnect to
share ground issues and feedback.
key in keeping our patients safe, stressed both SSN Sheila and SN Rhea. “Fall
champion or not, everyone can play a part towards patient safety by
highlighting the importance of fall prevention and looking out for our
patients,” said SSN Sheila.
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your email inbox...