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Nurses And Patient Independence

According to a new study published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies, nurses have an impact on the independence of older patients, even after they are discharged. The study’s co-author, Barbara King, Ph.D., RN, believes that nurses who work with patients to move around or walk frequently help older patients remain independent. According to Dr. King, over 60 percent of older patients who have a prolonged hospital stay lose the ability to walk. Dr. King found that not all nurses help get patients up and walking for several reasons: the severity of the patient’s illness, mental acuity of the patient, their concern of potential injury to the nurse or the patient, or not “owning” this responsibility. To promote patient ambulation, hospitals and unit managers should make patient ambulation part of their care goals.