Posted: September 30th, 2023
Ashford University Capstone Project Paper
Write a 500-750 word description of your proposed capstone project topic. Include the following:
I. The problem or issue, intervention, quality initiative, educational need, or
collaborative interprofessional team project that will be the focus of the change
II. The setting or context in which the problem or issue, intervention, quality
initiative, educational need, or collaborative interprofessional team project can be observed.
III. A description (providing a high level of detail) regarding the problem or issue, intervention, quality initiative, educational need, or collaborative interprofessional team project.
IV. Effect of the problem or issue, intervention, quality initiative, educational need, or collaborative interprofessional team project.
V. Significance of the topic and its implications for nursing practice.
VI. A proposed solution to the identified project topic with an explanation of how it will affect nursing practice.
Ashford University Capstone Project Paper
Collaborating with an approved course preceptor, students at Ashford University will identify a specific evidence-based topic for their capstone project change proposal. This topic should be carefully chosen, considering the clinical environment in which the student is currently employed or has recently worked. The capstone project can address a clinical practice problem, an organizational issue, a leadership or quality improvement initiative, or an unmet educational need specific to a patient population or community. Students also have the option to work with an interprofessional collaborative team.
The selected topic should align with the student’s area of interest and the clinical practice setting where they have completed their practice hours. In this assignment, we will explore a proposed capstone project topic related to the issue of hospital falls.
Hospital falls have become a prevalent concern in healthcare institutions, impacting both inpatient safety and patient outcomes. This issue has been exacerbated by the limited time nurses can spend at patients’ bedsides (Thompson, Cullum, McCaughan, Sheldon, & Raynor, 2004).
Hospital falls primarily occur at patients’ bedsides and in bathrooms. Patients attempting to leave their beds often face difficulties and may fall in the process. Additionally, patients using the bathroom are at risk due to slippery floors and their weakened condition, often resulting from sedation or general weakness (Taylor, 2012).
Elderly patients, aged 65 and older, are particularly susceptible to hospital falls due to weakened bone structures associated with aging. The decrease in nurse-patient interaction time contributes to the problem, as it limits nurses’ ability to monitor patients and prevent falls. Moreover, heavily sedated patients are more likely to experience balance issues, increasing the risk of falling (Thomas & Mackintosh, 2015).
Impact on Work Environment, Quality of Care, and Patient Outcomes
Hospital falls have profound consequences, affecting not only patient outcomes but also the hospital work environment and the quality of care provided. Falls hinder patients’ recovery, often causing injuries that prolong their hospital stay. This, in turn, impacts the overall quality of care provided to patients. High fall rates reflect poorly on a hospital’s reputation and can compromise patient safety during their stay (Singh, Okeke, & Edwards, 2015).
Implications for Nursing
Hospital falls place a significant strain on nursing professionals, tarnishing the nursing profession’s reputation and implying incompetence. Nurses are entrusted with patient care, and when such accidents occur, it reflects negatively on their ability to provide safe and effective care (Araújo et al., 2017).
While there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to prevent falls, there are preventive measures that can effectively reduce their occurrence. Comprehensive staff training on fall prevention strategies is essential. Additionally, hospital environments, including bathroom layouts, should be designed to minimize the risk of falls (Babine et al., 2016).
In conclusion, hospital falls pose a significant challenge in healthcare, affecting patient safety, outcomes, and the nursing profession. To mitigate this issue, a multi-pronged approach involving education, environmental modifications, and vigilant monitoring is necessary.
Araújo, L. D. Q., Nicolini, A. B. S., Nóbrega, M. M. L., de Souza, I. A., & de Almeida
Tavares, T. S. (2017). Factors associated with the occurrence of falls in
hospitalized adults. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP, 51, e03252.
Babine, R. L., Hyrkäs, K. E., Bachand, D. A., Chapman, J. L., Fuller, V. J.,
Honess, C. A., & Wierman, H. R. (2016). Falls in a tertiary care
hospital—Association with delirium: A replication study. Psychosomatics, 57(3),
Singh, I., Okeke, J., & Edwards, C. (2015). Outcome of in-patient falls in
hospitals with 100% single rooms and multi-bedded wards. Age and Ageing,
44(6), 1032-1035. doi:10.1093/ageing/afv124
Thomas, S., & Mackintosh, S. (2015). Improvement of physical therapist
assessment of risk of falls in the hospital and discharge handover through an
intervention to modify clinical behavior. Physical Therapy, 96(6), 764-773.
Thompson, C., Cullum, N., McCaughan, D., Sheldon, T., & Raynor, P. (2004).
Nurses, information use, and clinical decision making–the real world potential for
evidence-based decisions in nursing. Evidence-Based Nursing, 7(3), 68-72.