Reflective accounts

Mobility care

A CPD article improved Rose Gallacher’s knowledge of how to provide an integrated approach to mobility care for older people.

A CPD article improved Rose Gallacher’s knowledge of how to provide an integrated approach to mobility care for older people

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What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

I read the article because it was relevant to my practice as a nurse on a surgical unit, where many of the patients are older people. I wanted to improve my understanding of what an integrated approach to mobility care for older people might entail. The article stated that although this approach is aimed at older people living in nursing homes or residential care who require assistance with mobilising, it could also be applied to other care settings.

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The article discussed the range of physical injuries that can result from healthcare staff using inappropriate moving and handling techniques, which may cause older people to experience falls, bruising, skin tears and pain. I learned that assessing an older person’s mobility needs can be complex and requires the nurse to develop extensive knowledge and practice skills, particularly in relation to safe moving and handling techniques.

The integrated model of mobility care detailed in the article incorporated three aspects – person-centred, safety and mobility optimisation – which together form the acronym PERSAMO. The article discussed how encouraging older people to mobilise can reduce the risk of skin breakdown as a result of incontinence, and the development of pressure ulcers. Similarly, improving patients’ mobility can assist nurses in avoiding physical injury themselves, particularly when using moving and handling equipment such as hoists or slide sheets.

How did you change or improve your practice?

After reading the article, I reflected on the areas of my practice that require improvement. One of the themes of the integrated model of mobility care incorporates relational skills such as self-awareness and situational awareness.

The reflective questions provided in the article enabled me to improve my self-awareness. For instance, I now pay more attention to how I feel physically after assisting patients to mobilise, by asking myself: ‘Did I feel tense or relaxed? Was I stressed or rushed? Was I able to perform the procedure calmly?’ The article enabled me to focus on how I approach older people and my colleagues; for example, by considering whether I respect their personal space or if I seem abrupt in communicating with them. I will ensure that I treat older people with sensitivity and respect when providing care.

I will consider using the moving and handling algorithm included in the article, which is a useful tool for determining the appropriate moving and handling equipment to use when assisting an older person to weight bear or ambulate. Reflecting on my moving and handling techniques has enabled me to evaluate the quality of care that I provide to these patients.

How is this relevant to the Code? Select one or more themes: Prioritise people, Practise effectively, Preserve safety, Promote professionalism and trust

This article was relevant to The Code themes of prioritising people, preserving safety and practising effectively, since it focused on recognising older people’s mobility needs through an integrated model of person-centred care. The article encouraged nurses to deliver evidence-based practice that is respectful of older people and their individual mobility care needs, as well as prioritising safety and maintaining the person’s dignity.

Rose Gallacher is a staff nurse at Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley

This reflective account is based on NS835 Taylor J et al (2016) An integrated practice approach to mobility care for older people. Nursing Standard. 30, 29, 51-59

Write your own reflective account

You can gain a certificate of learning by reading a Nursing Standard CPD article and writing a reflective account. To write a reflective account for Nursing Standard, use the NMC reflective accounts form

Complete the four questions about the CPD article you have just read, writing about 800 words in total. Details of how to submit your reflective account 

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