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The use of individualized therapeutic activities and decreased Agitation Equipment

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Further research is needed to investigate the association this project found between the use of individualized therapeutic activities and decreased Agitation Equipment. A study exploring whether the use of therapeutic activities affects the amount, frequency, and duration of medications given to manage agitation would be useful. Studies examining the effect of therapeutic activities on the need for ongoing continuous observation, patient complications, length of stay, and patient satisfaction would also be valuable.

In 2011, we decided to explore alternative and creative ways to provide a safer, more supportive environment for these patients. To assemble a project team, the nursing coordinator (PV) asked for volunteers from our nursing staff, and two of us (CW and KT) responded. Two nursing assistants from the STAR Team (MB and AM) were also selected to participate, based upon their work performance, project interest, and ability to balance work and school demands. (A third nursing assistant [SL] joined the project later.) The purpose of the project was to offer individualized therapeutic activities to patients who were receiving continuous observation and measure the effect on their levels of agitation.

Our goal was not to decrease the use of continuous observers; rather, we wanted to maximize the effect of an observer's presence on the patient's safety and well-being. We chose agitation as the target behavior we wanted to decrease, since it was the most common reason for the use of continuous observation in our hospital. We began by searching the literature.

Drift losses from 8003 nozzles mounted on a ground sprayer and D-6 jet nozzles directed back on fixed wing aircraft produced much higher drift deposits, from 0.2 to 1.0 g/ha on fallout sheets at 100 m. The highest levels of drift losses were obtained with D-4 jet nozzles directed down on a helicopter, 5 g/ha on fallout sheets at 100 m. Some evidence of reduced airborne drift was apparent where the polymer Thickening Equipment was used with aircraft and ground equipment. The test results indicate that significant reduction in drift losses were obtained with proper application equipment; however, the use of a polymer thickening agent reduced drift only slightly for certain applications.

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