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J Gerontol Nurs. 1989 Feb;15(2):16-21.

Releasing restraints--a nursing dilemma.


1. Although there has been considerable discussion of the use of patient restraints in long-term care settings, the application and removal of restraints remain a major nursing dilemma. 2. External forces, such as hospital administration, legal, family and other societal pressures, and internal constraints such as the nurse's personal values and workload, continue to result in conflict for the staff nurse. 3. A report of a study on the behavioral effects of removing restraints is used as an example of exploring the experience and outcome of restraint removal and the ensuing staff experience of caregiving to the newly unrestrained patient. 4. Nursing actions and environmental conditions must change if patients considered to be problematic or at risk of injury are to be safely freed from restraints.

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