The nurse is caring for a 72-year-old female who must remain on bed rest after a hip fracture. The client has become confused and disoriented over the past 2 days. Which of the following is the best nursing intervention?

  • placing familiar objects such as family photos, a clock, and a personal calendar on the wall
  • asking the physician to order restraints so the client does not try and get up
  • asking the client’s daughter to stay overnight so the client is comforted by a familiar face
  • moving the client to a better staffed floor, so she can be watched more carefully
Number 1 is correct.
It is common for some patients (especially the elderly) to become disoriented during a hospital stay. The nurse’s best intervention is to provide cues around the room that can reorient the client, such as familiar personal objects. Restraints are a measure of last resort, and it is inappropriate to ask the client’s family to stay so the staff does not have to intervene. Transferring the client to another floor before other interventions have been attempted is also inappropriate and abdicates professional responsibility.