Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Advanced Practice Nursing

First Supervisor

Christine Neslon-Tuttle

Second Supervisor

Heather McGrane-Minton


Problem: The ability to accurately and quickly identify patients at high risk for falls at the point of entry into the emergency department is the most important step in fall prevention and avoiding harm. Using an inpatient falls risk assessment tool is not adequately identifying patients at risk in the emergency department setting. Multiple factors contribute to falls and are not included in the risk assessment tool. The purpose of the study was to determine if the false risk assessment tool used in the Emergency Department (ED) adequately identifies a patient at risk for falling.

Methods: This study used a snowball sampling method via Facebook with a link to Survey Monkey.

Results: Of the 72 nurses who completed the survey, 34.7% of the nurses thought the survey was not appropriate for the evaluation of falls in the emergency department. Even though this may not seem like many, of those 72 nurses, 47.2% of them would prefer a simpler tool. When asked what population of patients the fall risk assessment tool did not appropriately screen for, responses included intoxicated, pediatric, infants, substance abuse, dizziness, vertigo, and unconscious patients.

Implication for Practice: After reviewing the literature, it would be beneficial to develop an ED fall risk assessment tool that is specific to the patient population in the emergency department. A possible future study would be to implement an ED specific fall risk assessment tool and determine the effectiveness of the risk assessment tool on predicting patient falls.

Key Words: Falls, Fall risk tool, Emergency room specific falls tool

Included in

Nursing Commons