Side rails are devices that are often used under the mistaken belief that they will protect people from injuries that result from rolling or falling out of bed. Side rails, however, are a “hidden danger” that can cause injury and death. When used unnecessarily or improperly, they pose a risk of strangulation and entrapment. As a staff member in a long-term care home, you must understand the dangers of side rails, recognize when they are being used as restraints, and be familiar with alternatives that should be used when they are replaced as part of a side rail reduction program.
Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Side Rails A. Why Use Them? B. Reasons Why You Shouldn’t C. Review D. Summary Section 3: Appropriate and Inappropriate Use A. Why Use Them? B. Restraints C. Scenario D. Hidden Dangers E. Review F. Summary Section 3: First Things First A. Assessment B. Alternatives C. Alarms D. Other Interventions E. Review F. Summary Section 4: Side Rail Reduction Program A. Requires Ongoing Education B. Scenario C. Review Section 5: Conclusion A. Summary B. Course Contributor C. References D. Congratulations
Karen C. Schnaufer, BSN, RN, Content Writer, Relias Learning, has held positions as staff nurse, charge nurse, research nurse clinician, and clinical instructor with over 25 years of clinical practice in a broad range of specialties: med/surg, pediatrics, long term care, mental health, research, and IDD. Prior to becoming a Registered Nurse, Ms. Schnaufer successfully challenged the Practical Nursing Boards in NY. After working with the Breast Oncology Research group at Duke, Ms. Schnaufer switched her focus to the area of IDD and worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health issues, who live in group homes. Among her various responsibilities in this area was to train direct support staff and clinicians in medical issues/medication administration, participate in state surveys, providing and implementing plans of correction, as well as, serving on various committees, such as Human Rights, to help improve the lives of the individuals supported. To this day, she continues to volunteer in this realm. A veteran of the U.S.A.F., Ms. Schnaufer is committed to creating relevant and intelligent continuing education courses for healthcare professionals throughout the continuum of care. Disclosure: Karen C. Schnaufer, BSN, RN has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.Expert Reviewer: Peggy Hewson, BScN, MaED
Peggy is a Health Services professional with over 38 years of progressive Nursing, Education, and Health Management experience including Critical Care Emergency Nursing, Case Management, and Home Care Senior Management. As Director of Product Management, Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centre’s, she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of software product delivery including implementation and constant improvement of a provincial home care solution and assessment solution for the Province of Ontario. Peggy is highly skilled in all aspects of communication and education, including facilitation, presentations, Disclosure: Peggy Hewson, BScN, MaED has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
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