A stay in hospital is a massive burden, especially for people with dementia. They often become restless and disoriented and need a lot of talking. However, certain operations or a disturbance of consciousness can also lead to flight behavior or endangering yourself or others. The “seat guards” are intended to relieve the staff, especially in night shifts, and to offer patients security, the KUK reported in a press release on Wednesday. Persons who take over the guards only care for a single person, so they can react immediately to their needs and call for help if necessary. They can intervene, for example, if the patient removes infusions or someone who is at risk of falling wants to get up or leave the ward.
Qualified volunteers on the job
“There are very clear medical and nursing indications for the selection of patients for whom a seated guard is used. If these are met, a seated guard can be a great help for the nursing staff, but above all for those affected themselves. We staff our seat guards with qualified volunteers who can report for specific services. These are, for example, medical students, but also 24-hour supervisors,” explains Nursing Director Simone Pammer, who initiated the pilot project. The supervisors are sent to the hospital by an agency.
The pilot project was started at the beginning of the year, there have already been around 20 assignments that have been very well received. “If our expectations regarding the relief are confirmed, we will expand the offer of seated guards to the entire university hospital,” said Pammer.
The head of an orthopaedics/traumatology ward, Bettina Engleder, confirms positive experiences with the sit guards, because they would have prevented falls and would give the patients a feeling of security. “The knowledge that someone is constantly and directly at the bedside is a huge relief. The volunteers recognize dangers, talk to the patients and thus have a calming effect on them,” says qualified nurse Evelyn Kreuzer, describing her experiences with sit guards in her services.
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