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Program gets ICU patients exercising earlier

A program that orders exercise for ICU patients in the same way medication is ordered to help them become mobile sooner has been implemented at an Australian hospital.

Kellie Sosnowski, nurse unit manager of the intensive care unit at Logan Hospital, will discuss the program during her presentation at the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses’ upcoming ICE2015 Conference.

“[The exercise program] is ordered by our nursing staff into our clinical information system, so it comes up like a medication order and it has to be signed for once it's been administered,” Sosnowski said.

She said initially nurses were concerned about patient safety, but added that was minimised once they had used the program. “We've created a checklist so that ensures we've covered absolutely everything before we move the patients and that just means we ensure we've got all the equipment necessary before we've moved; that we've got the correct amount of staff and everyone is aware of their task.

“It's a really structured approach to moving people,” she said.

Health editor Dallas Bastian spoke to Sosnowski about the program, the reaction it has garnered amongst nurses and the benefits to patients of being mobilised early.

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