Original Research

Nurses’ perspectives on inpatient falls in a large academic hospital in South Africa

Christine Rogers, Athene Irving
Curationis | Vol 46, No 1 | a2479 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v46i1.2479 | © 2023 Christine Rogers, Athene Irving | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2023 | Published: 20 October 2023

About the author(s)

Christine Rogers, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Athene Irving, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Falls risk assessment tools, including the Morse Falls Scale, have been used for years, and yet falls remain key adverse events in hospitals. Nurses are key role players in falls prevention and can champion patient safety.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to explore ward nurses’ attitudes, knowledge and practices regarding the use of falls risk assessment tools, institutional falls policy and falls prevention.

Methods: A survey design was used. All permanent ward nurses were eligible to participate, and a convenience sample was used.

Results: Nurses endorsed the Morse Falls Scale, recommended by institutional policy, as effective in reducing falls and indicated that incident reporting measured progress on monitoring fall events. Falls prevention training was scanty; however, nurses were keen for further education of falls.

Conclusion: Effective falls risk management needs to extend beyond promulgating policy and actively address nursing and patient education.

Contribution: This study adds to the sparse literature regarding nursing practice and falls prevention in a developing country. Recommendations for change have been made.


Keywords

hospital-based falls; falls risk identification; falls prevention; nursing practice; low- and middle-income country

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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