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Let’s Get Moving:

Mobility's Impact on the Hearts and Souls of Hospitals, Patients, and Healthcare Providers

Amidst the whirlwind of patient care, it's easy to get caught up in the immediacy of treating symptoms and managing conditions. However, as nurses and healthcare providers, it's crucial to remember the wholistic importance of mobility for patients and ourselves. Mobility isn't just about physical movement; it encompasses many benefits beyond the individual patient to the hospital environment and healthcare providers.

Today, we invite you to delve into the wholistic significance of mobility and explore some simple yet effective in-bed and in-chair exercises that can make a world of difference for everyone involved.

The Hospital Environment:

First, prioritizing patient mobility can yield numerous benefits from a hospital standpoint. Reduced incidence of falls and related injuries can lead to shorter hospital stays, decreased healthcare costs, and improved patient satisfaction scores. Additionally, proactive mobility initiatives contribute to a safer and more conducive healing environment, fostering a culture of patient-centered care.

Furthermore, by implementing mobility programs, hospitals can optimize resource utilization and streamline workflow processes. Nurses and other healthcare providers can collaborate more effectively, leading to enhanced patient outcomes and greater overall efficiency within the healthcare system.

The Patient Perspective:

Maintaining mobility is integral to patients' overall well-being and quality of life. Whether recovering from surgery, managing chronic conditions, or staying in long-term care, regular movement can prevent muscle atrophy, improve circulation, and reduce the risk of complications such as pressure ulcers and deep vein thrombosis.

We also know that mobility promotes spiritual well-being and a sense of independence and boosts morale, empowering patients to participate actively in their recovery journey. By incorporating mobility exercises into their daily routine, patients can regain strength, enhance flexibility, and experience greater control over their health.

The Healthcare Providers' Well-being:

As caregivers, it's essential to recognize the impact of mobility on our own well-being. Nursing can be physically demanding, with extended hours spent on our feet and frequent lifting and transferring of patients. Engaging in mobility exercises with our patients benefits our physical health and helps prevent burnout and fatigue.

Moreover, promoting patient mobility fosters a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in our role as advocates for holistic care. By empowering patients to actively participate in their recovery, we cultivate meaningful connections and contribute to a culture of empathy and compassion within our healthcare community.

Consider incorporating these mobility practices with your less mobile patients and note the difference it makes for your patients, your hospital, and your overall well-being. 

In-Bed Mutual Mobility Exercise:

  • Lay the bed flat (or a flat as possible)

  • Instruct the patient to hug their knees to the chest to whatever degree they are able.

  • Incorporate a breathing exercise: Instruct the patient to do 4-7-8 breathing or close to that… exhale longer than inhale.

  • Demonstrate practiice. Then, together, do the breathwork five times. Pulling in and releasing their legs with each breath cycle

  • Before leaving the patient's room, reposition the patient. 

In-Chair Mobility Exercise:

  • Assist the patient into a chair facing you.

  • Get a rolled-up towel to place length-wise between the shoulder blades.

  • Get into a seated position (either in another chair or on the bed).

  • Lift hands into cactus arms position.

  • Together, turn your heads from side to side, ensuring your head is not forward. (pretend you are holding a grapefruit under your chin.

  • Move your chin to your chest, then slowly move your nose to the ceiling.

  • Incorporate a breath practice: Together, 

  • BREATHE IN: light, peace, & gratitude. 

  • BREATHE OUT: stillness and rest.

Mobility is not just a physical activity; it's a fundamental aspect of wholistic patient care that benefits individuals, healthcare institutions, and providers alike. By embracing mobility as an integral part of our practice, we can create a culture of wellness and empowerment that transforms the healthcare experience for everyone involved.

Let's keep moving forward, both figuratively and literally.


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