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Challenges of Transition Care for the Elderly

Subject: Nursing
Number of words/pages: 1060 words/6 pages
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The transitioning of the elderly patients from one health facility to the other and from one department to the other exposes the elderly to risks of more adversities in their health. The elder people of 70 years and above have multiple chronic conditions and are prone to small twitches and movements in and around the hospitals (Graham, Ivey & Neuhauser, 2009). The elderly are likely to have bone fractures even in low-intensity twists during their lifetime. These target population groups are highly vulnerable to any slight breakages to the healthcare facilities. In most cases, the elderly are transitioned from one facility to the other or inter-department transition in equipment that could break down any moment. In the process of transporting the elderly patients on this healthcare equipment, any shock movement would create more damage and harm to the patient. The elderly patients are more exposed to injuries during the transition as they experience depression due to the high rates of rehospitalization.

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According to Dyrstad, et al. (2014), the transition of medical care of the elderly patients faces more challenges and would expose the elderly patients to more harm than good. There are chances of poor communication between the patients and the nurses and this always require family caregivers (para 13). The caregivers will always step in to explain to the nurses the condition of the patients in cases where the patient transitions from home care to the medical facility. The poor or incomplete transfer of health records of the aged patients will derail the efficiency of providing healthcare service to the patient at the new facility. The transitioning of medical care of the elderly faces the challenge of illiteracy or memory loss. In several parts of the world, those over the age of 70 years are either illiterate or experience memory losses. With such conditions, the nurses get frustrated while trying to acquire information from the patient. In cases where the aged patient is to be transferred to another level of medication, the family caregivers often face the challenge of coordinating with the hospital due to lack of adequate involvement in the decision making plans concerning the elderly patient

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Problem Identification

The medical transition involving the elderly patients exposes the patients to harm and increases the risks of adversities for the patients. The elderly are fragile and likely to suffer from any slight breakdown during the transitions in the hospitals. The healthcare personnel in most instances have inadequate skills in handling the elderly while transitioning the patients to the given departments within the hospital or from one facility to the other. The inability of the health care nurses to completely assess the situation of the patients. With lack of vital and full healthcare records and information of the patients, the nurses are unable to handle the elderly patients with the require precaution (Dyrstad, et al. 2014). The diverse loopholes in handling the elderly during the transition expose the elderly patients to diverse adversities during the transition.

The Significance of the Problem to Nursing

I chose to research about the challenges of transitioning the elderly because there is little research work that tries to solve the array of issues and challenges that affect the quality and safe medical service delivery to the elderly during the transition. I explore the possible opportunities and suggest the appropriate mechanisms to address these challenges. The research will; provide the medical practitioners, especially the nurses with the mechanisms of handling the elderly either during the inter-facility or inter-departmental transitions. By addressing the problem, the medical practitioners will adopt the best strategies to address the problems that the nurses face while handling the elderly during the transition and the risk that the elderly may experience in the transition process (Graham, Ivey & Neuhauser, 2009).

Purpose of the Research

The purpose of this research is to expose the challenges the nurses face while transitioning the elderly patients into a facility either from home or another facility. Through the adverse and risky situations that the nurses handling the elderly patients during the transition, the research will enlighten the nurses on strategies for handling the elderly patients. The study will also provide opportunities for addressing the challenges that the nurses face during this transition of the elderly patients. The study identifies the parties that should be involved in attending to the elderly during and after the transition. The study will provide significant information on how to handle the elderly patients during transitions so that every personal and individual can play their role distinctively.

Research Questions

  • How can medical service delivery be improved to address the challenges of nurses in transitioning the elderly patients?
  • What role do the family caregivers play in the provision of medical care during the transition of the elderly?
  • Should the practitioner be responsible for coordinating the sending and receiving of teams within the period of transition for the elderly?
  • What roles should the authorities play to ensure that the elderly patients are safely transitioned from one facility to the other or from home to the hospital?

Masters’ Essentials

The Master’s essential related to this research topic is inter-professional collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes. The master’s essential is widely discussed in the journal article, The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing. American Association of Colleges of Nursing, authored and published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2011).

1. AACN. (2011, May 21). The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Retrieved from: https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/son/pdf2/MastersEssentials11.pdf.

2. Dyrstad, D., et al. (2014, May 8). Quality in Transitional care of the Elderly: Key Challenges and Relevant Improvement Measures. International Journal of Integrated Care, 14(2). Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027895/.

3. Graham, C. L., Ivey, S. L., & Neuhauser, L. (2009, February 1). From Hospital to Home: Assessing the Transitional Care Needs of Vulnerable Seniors. The Gerontologist, 49(1), 23-33. https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/49/1/23/579838.

4. Storm, M., et al.  (2014, July 31). Quality and Safety in the Transitional Care of the Elderly (phase 2): The Study Protocol of a Quasi-experimental Intervention Study for a Cross-level Educational Program. BMJ open, 4(7). Retrieved from: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/7/e005962.

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