Early Detection and Management of Delirium Through Routine Nurse Screening on Older Adult Hospitalized Patients
MetadataShow full item record
Nurses play a crucial role in implementing care designed to reduce delirium’s duration and severity. Unmanaged delirium in the older adult patient population can result in prolonged hospitalization, profound decline in health status, and possible short or long-term institutionalization. A nurse-driven delirium management protocol was piloted on an orthopedic surgical unit over a period of four weeks. The goal was to detect delirium early in the postoperative period for early management and thus, the patient would be free of delirium symptoms at discharge.
All patients age 65 years old and over were assessed for delirium every shift and a delirium nursing care plan was implemented on those identified as positive for delirium. A total of 81 patients were assessed for delirium with nine percent (9%, n=8) testing positive at some point during their hospitalization. Delirium nursing care plans were implemented on all these patients and none of these patients exhibited delirium symptoms at discharge. The nurses’ ability to recognize delirium using a standardized assessment tool can lead to early management and reduce delirium’s severity and duration.