Beaconsfield nurse Brigitte Galand feels a patient receiving care at a hospital should never have to be restrained against his or her will – and her desire to make that a reality has landed her an international nursing innovation award.
Galand was a recipient of the Care Challenge Award, an international nursing innovation practice honour as part of the “Connecting Nurses” program, supported by international Sanofi world division, for her project, called 'Reduction program of non-pertinent physical restraint,' enacted at the Ste. Anne's Veteran's Hospital in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, which involved workers from each of the major departments at the hospital to try and reduce the number of patients who had to be restrained against their will. Only 20 nurses worldwide were recognized, and just three nurses in Quebec were so honoured.
"At Ste. Anne's, we're very proud of our progress in not restraining patients," she said. The rate of restraint on patients dropped dramatically in the last 13 years, going from 73 per cent of patients that required some form of restraint in 1999 to three per cent last year.
"It's amazing," Galand said. The prize couldn't have been possible without co-operation from hospital administration, which mandated an interdisciplinary committee "who started the training and the follow-up. We involved everybody – rehabilitation staff, medical staff, nurses, orderlies, and most importantly the families and the patients," and the fruits of their labour have now been recognized, Galand said.
"It's here to stay," she said. "It's so ingrained in the minds of the staff to try to use other techniques to help keep patients calm. They'll try anything to avoid restraining a patient," she said, adding restraints are still used "only as a very, very last resort," she said.
Galand's project submission involved the creation of the committee, which aggressively started promoting the alternative to restraints in every department of the hospital between 2000 and 2005, and its activities, which spread throughout every department of the hospital and created a more collaborative atmosphere between medical teams at the hospital