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I attended a scholarly conference that attracted the participation of healthcare providers within the organization structured in the form of a hospice. The target market for this activity was looking into health disparities affecting the elderly, particularly those that were at risk of falls due to administered medications. The professionals were interested in coming up with ways of preventing the incidence of such falls and their management if they occur during the period of admission in the hospices. This activity benefited me by increasing knowledge on how to continuously ensure patient safety during their admission through evidence-based practice.
The elderly population is currently increasing at a high rate with the group of people in this category being diagnosed with a series of terminal conditions. These conditions include cardiovascular diseases like heart problems and hypertension, depression and psychosis as the patients continue to age. These patients are expected to be treated with drugs like digoxins, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, antiepileptic agents, antipsychotics, antiparkinsonian drugs, opioids and urological spasmolytics among others (Huang et al., 2012). Most of these drugs expose the elderly patients to higher risks of falls which may increase the hospitalization time, worsen the patients’ conditions and increase the cost of treatment. By participating in the scholarly activity, a nurse could provide suggestions to enhance the quality of care delivered to patients under these conditions.
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The scholarly activity addressed some potential solutions to the problem with the major approach being directed towards significantly reducing the dosage of certain falls-causing medications. Other interventions were directed to towards computerizing prescriptions to determine a safety quotient that would be administered with minimal harm to the patients (Ambrose, Paul & Hausdorff, 2013). Further, the interdisciplinary team proposed a re-design of the facility and beds to ease the impact of falls in the hospices.
This activity was designed to increase the application of evidence-based practice in the delivery of care among patients. Furthermore, it was designed to appreciate the importance of teamwork in professionally addressing patient problems considering that all healthcare providers are important in the entire process (Ambrose, Paul & Hausdorff, 2013). Communication as an objective was also addressed, especially regarding the need to design mechanisms of communicating the proposed changes to a population that may elicit resistance as it happens in most proposed interventions (Huang et al., 2012). Attending this activity helped me grow as a nurse since it helped me understand the importance of sharing ideas with proper ethics to enhance the quality of healthcare.
Program Competencies Addressed
- The competencies addressed included:
- Effective communication
- Ethical responsibility
- Effective utilization of nursing terminology and taxonomy in professional and therapeutic communication
- Critical thinking for betterment in patients’ outcome
- Synthesizing scientific contents for evidence-based practice
- Ambrose, A. F., Paul, G., & Hausdorff, J. M. (2013). Risk factors for falls among older adults: a review of the literature. Maturitas, 75(1), 51-61.
- Huang, A. R., Mallet, L., Rochefort, C. M., Eguale, T., Buckeridge, D. L., & Tamblyn, R. (2012). Medication-related falls in the elderly. Drugs & aging, 29(5), 359-376.