Fractures can be caused at joints or along the length of a bone. Hand and leg fractures are the most common in case of accidents. The longest bone, like the femur, is the most likely to break in case of a fracture. When a person suffers from a bone fracture, nursing intervention is required.
Usually, when a person sustains a fracture, he or she is rushed to the ER. In the ER, based on the visible signs like pain, tenderness, loss of function and muscle spasms, the ER nurse will take the person for an X-ray. The nurse will also administer some painkiller to reduce the pain. Then the nurse will make observations on a chart for the doctor. Nursing intervention for bone fracture also involves checking the person's blood pressure and ensuring that the person does not go into shock. The main aims of nursing intervention are to ensure that the patient gets relief from pain, the patient does not have any complications due to the fracture, and the maximum rehabilitation potential is achieved. (See Reference 1)
In case the fracture is a compound one, then the nurse would have to prepare the patient for surgery. This involves, cleaning the site of the fracture and removing any debris. The site of the injury will also be shaved. All these measures are adopted to prevent infections. (See Reference 1) In addition, it is the nurse's task to calm the patient down and assure the person that all the needs of the patient will be seen to by the nurses until the patient is well enough to meet his or her needs.
Once the operation to rectify compound fracture is done, the nurse will keep a close eye on the neurovascular system of the injured site. Also, while the patient is moving or repositioning himself or herself, the nurse will keep a close watch to ensure that the patient does not cause any harm to himself or herself. The dressing and/or cast is carefully monitored by the nurse to ensure that no bleeding occurs after the surgery. In case a tube is inserted to drain fluid from the wound, then the nurse has the responsibility to check this at least once during his or her shift. (See Reference 1)
Generally, a fracture does not cause any complications and tends to heal on its own without too much trouble. The associated pain is alleviated with the help of painkillers that are given by the nursing staff. In case the fracture results in immobility, then it is the nurse's task to prevent constipation and renal stones. Constipation is averted by giving the person lots of fluid and fiber-rich diet, while renal stones are prevented by ensuring that the person gets a lot of fluids. Often, the patient may be asked to sip cranberry juice to prevent development of stones in the kidney and make the urine more acidic. (See Reference 1)
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