Nurses Knowledge of Balance and Falls at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Abstract

Background: Falls are a common problem, especially in vulnerable populations, such as the older adults population and homeless population. In some cases, the results of falls may not allow patients to return to their full activities of daily living prior to the fall. At the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), the fall rate among patients doubled since last year. ææObjectives: To assess the BHCHP nursesÍ knowledge on falls and fall prevention, to increase the nursesÍ knowledge regarding falls and fall prevention methods and indirectly reduce the fall rates among patients at BHCHP Study Design/Methods: Student conducted focus group interviews to further understand the work environment and possible leads in key factors to falls. Student and mentor developed in-services regarding falls and fall prevention methods to present to nurses. BHCHP nurses were surveyed on their knowledge of falls and fall prevention methods prior and after to in-service presentations. Results: Post in-services survey revealed an increase of nursesÍ knowledge on falls and fall prevention methods and also an increase of comfortability handling patient fall situations among nurses. Fall rate among patients decreased. æConclusion: Though it was not a direct intervention on patients, it can be inferred that increasing nursesÍ knowledge and comfortability on falls and fall prevention methods helped reduce falls among patient population at BHCHP.