Deconditioning is a problem that is likely to occur in critically ill patients, which leads to the loss of peripheral muscle tone, the weights of such patients are also expected to drop significantly before being discharged. Early mobility is a viable means to counteract the impacts of deconditioning on patients as they undergo treatments in hospitals. The early mobility practice reduces the complications of deconditioning, which in most cases leads to long-term muscle deterioration. Increasing the mobility of ventilated patients has always been a challenge among nursing practitioners; however, through the provision of emerging insights on, for instance, ICU-induced muscle wastage, as well as the underlying residual impairment of physical functionality, elevates the possibility of patients’ early mobility practices, with the nurses who fail to address the issues of early mobility on their patients exposing such patients to higher risks of morbidity and mortality. Early mobility is an integral practice among nurses to protect the patients from deconditioning.
The proposition is that initiating mobility during the early stages of ailments is an effective way of preventing further complications related to the diseases the patients are suffering from. Prolonged bed rest among patients leads to poor living standards due to muscle weakening a decrease in circulation; the patient is also likely to suffer from pulmonary emboli (Drolet et al. 2013). The negative implications tend to manifest right after the patients fail to adhere to recommendations on the importance of early mobility.
Ealy mobility is an advanced physical therapy to restore musculoskeletal strength and other functions such as bed mobility, standing transfer, standing, sitting balance, and gait reduction. Studies have shown that inactivity leads to profound effects on the brain, skeletal muscle, skin, cardiovascular system, and pulmonary system, all of which sum up to deconditioning. Turning a patient after every two hours is a recommended health care standard. However, doing it more frequently is a warranty to prevent the risks immobility may bring on the patients. Early mobility gives the patients a way to strengthen their muscle tone and cognition and ultimately improve the outcomes. Ensuring that early mobility is put in place as early as possible benefits the patients both in the short and long run and their path to recovery.
Mobilizing and walking the patients is a primary nursing practice that is given great weight in all the nursing schools, and its methods are promoted in clinical settings. However, despite mobilization being taught in schools, it involves more complex procedures and technology, which can potentially impact the nurse’s approach towards patient care practices. Ambulating patients is of utmost importance to care (Drolet et al. 2013). The implementation of early mobility programs as the patients undergo treatments is highly supported by experts across the health care fraternity. Even though mobilizing patients in intensive care units is not risk-free, the supportive equipment may be dislodged, leading to injury on the patients. Still, that risk doesn’t overrule the benefits reaped from the early mobility exercises.
The presence of having some inconsistency as the patients are taken care of by the nurses is in, most times due to nurses having limited skills and the best knowledge practices. This necessitates for the nurses and the patient care assistant to be trained and equipped with the necessary skills on the best ways of using gait belts as well as other modalities for successful ambulation of their patients (Drolet et al. 2013). Continuous improvement in early mobility and the equipment necessary for practice is very important among the health care professionals who take care of ill intubated patients. Having a comprehensive educational plan increases the nurse’s knowledge willingness to create guidelines to enhance the standards of care. The art of transforming the framework and the concept of care delivery can easily change the knowledge inadequacy in connection to the health care team; the effect of this is a positive social change as a result of reduced complications.
Watson’s theory is the core of the caring theory, which argues that humans should not be treated as objects. There is no way of separating human beings from themselves, nature, and the larger workforce. The theory consists of nursing as a whole, focusing on the interpersonal processes existing between the caregiver and the patient. In addition, the theories dwell on human caring and caring to the caring transpersonal relationship. The results of employing the Watson theory are increased potential of healing for both the caregivers and the patients.
Nurses need to employ Caritas 1 of the Watson theory ‘the Embrace,’ which consists of altruistic values and the practice of loving-kindness with self and the rest. Ensuring that the patients make use of the early mobility practice requires not only skills but also free will to do. Embracing the patients and developing a close relationship with them creates a serene in which the nurses can share the utmost sense of loving-kindness to the patients. The self-sacrifice from the nurse will ensure that the patient doesn’t go through the complications associated with inadequate early mobility practice leading to deconditioning.
The challenge facing the practice of early mobility on patients is currently being given a great sense of attention as far systematic and clinical literature is concerned. The research study discusses early mobility on critically ill patients, and some things such as functional outcomes as well as patient safety are addressed adequately. The results show that critically ill patients who don’t get the chance of being under mobilization during the early phases of their sicknesses tend to experience persistent weakness, low-quality life, muscle atrophy, and alterations of neuropsychological functions (Castro et al., 2015). The patients discharged from the hospitals have a significant reduction in their total body weight, a decrease of muscle strength, and being unable to walk for a long time, probably six minutes. The study reveals that when the nursing staff practice early mobility on their patients, the results are promising as the functionality of the patients is greatly improved. Early mobility leads to fewer scenarios of ventilators’ days, reduced skin injuries, reduced length of staying in the hospital, and enhanced functionality both before the patients are released from the hospitals and after they are released (Bassett et al., 2012). The aspect of bringing the gap between the inconsistency in ensuring early mobility programs by the nurses on the patients is effectively done through offering education training and making it clear the purpose served by the practice in ensuring that the patient doesn’t experience deconditioning.
The study showed that the earlier the nurses incorporate early mobility in their patients, the better they will be free from deconditioning. However, the nurses are seemingly inconsistent in their bid to ensure that early mobilization is brought to reality within the treatment plans. The effects of the inconsistency are gaps that leave the patients at the risk of suffering severely due to deconditioning with the lack of early mobilization (Curtis et al. 2017). The research indicates the necessity of educational programs for both the nurses and the patients on early mobility to ensure that standards of proper care protocols become a common and accepted practice.
Having reliable sources of evidence is very key in understanding the need and the influencing factors of early mobility. Both randomized and nonrandomized sources come in handy in understanding the effects of bedrest of patients in the hospitals. From this, it was clear that the nurses have a legal obligation to do nothing that may harm the patients; instead, they should give the best of care to the patients through embracing the Watson theory.
Conclusively, early mobilization and deconditioning are health concepts that greatly rely on each other, but especially, deconditioning depends on early mobilization. If the nurses put the early mobilization practice early enough, the results would be an easier recovery process for the patients while still under treatment in the hospitals and once they are discharged. Failure to that the consequences are dire and may even affect the patient as long as they live. Educational programs both on the patients and the nurses proved critical in ensuring both parties understand the importance of early mobility.
Bassett R. D., Vollman K. M., Brandwene L., & Murray T. (2012). Integrating a multidisciplinary Mobility programme into intensive care practice (IMMPTP): A multicenter collaborative. Intensive & Critical Care Nurse, 28(2), 88-97. doi:10.1016/j.iccn.2011.12.001
Castro, E., Turcinovic, M., Platz, J., & Law, I. (2015). Early mobilization: Changing the mindset. Critical Care Nurse, 35(4), 1-6. doi:10.4037/ccn2015512
Curtis, K., Fry, M., Shaban, R. Z., & Considine, J. (2017). Translating research findings to clinical nursing practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(5-6), 862-872. 44 doi:10.1111/jocn.13586
Drolet, A., DeJuilio, P., Harless, S., Henricks, S., Kamin, E., Leddy, E. A., & Williams, S. (2013). Move to improve: The feasibility of using an early mobility protocol to increase ambulation in the intensive and intermediate care settings. Physical Therapy, 93(2), 197-207. doi:10.2522/ptj.20110400