Providing fluids to patients

  1. I spend a lot of my time with my older patients serving and making sure that they're drinking enough fluids. I feel overwhelmed with the number of patients I have but I know how important it is to make sure they're drinking their fluids. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can reduce the amount of time I spend on this while making sure my patients still get enough fluids?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   sis14rn
    One way I have used in the past is to get others involved. If there is an activity going on, encourage fluids then. If residents are in therapy, make sure therapists offer fluids.
  4. by   Nikki69
    How about your aides? Every day at the beginning of the shift, emphasize the fact that you really want them to push the fluids.
  5. by   Marylou1102
    Where I work it is treated as a facitity wide issue, all depertments are involved. Activities will offer snacks and drinks at least twice a day. Sometimes it is as simple a offering a popsicle or ice cream. The residents love rootbeer floats, and that is something even residents on full liquids can have.

    In addition to the water, juice and protein suppliments on each med cart, we have a hydration station at each nurses station. They are Large containers with spigots and a stack of cups to dispense drinks located just outside the station. Dietary is responsible for keeping them stocked with fresh liquids, usually Crystal Lite (lemonaid is a favorite) All staff members in all departments will offer drinks to the residents and many residents will get their own. Even families have gotten involved and will assist other residents.

    We have been doing this for several years now and it has worked out quite well. The Nurse still must monitor for dehydration but this makes the job a lot easier. Everyone knows to clear it with a nursing staff member first so no one gets something he/she can't have.
  6. by   Really An Actress
    I found some patients like strongly flavored drinks better than ole tap water. It IS time consuming, but I'm glad it's a priority where you are. When my father was in LTC, he always had the same full glass of water but no one to encourage him to drink it. The same glass would sit there all day. Sometimes I'd bring him lemonade to give him encouragement.
  7. by   Antikigirl
    Yep, it is almost essential to have everyones involvement! In fact, we had several residents that encouraged fluids as well...and that helped with the whole "yeah yeah right...nurses always say that" attitude.

    I found that if I put a nice pitcher of water with a little ice and have dietary bring lemon wedges that people drank more water! Also, I found some people really liked the flavored water or sparkling waters! Checking if it needs to be refreshed is also great...reminds them that it is there for them at any time (and making it within reach...for those that can pour and drink on their own...if they can't then frequent checks and help is needed).

    Using other words than water is also helpful! For me...well I really got sparkling water popular, so I would ask if they would like their sparkling lemon drink or something along that lines...makes it more tantlizing to the senses and a bit more desirable!

    ALSO, why use a clear cup? That can be boring. Studies have shown that if you use color in both food presentation and fluid presentation the more desirable it is (again feeding more than one sence!). I use colored cups when available, or a colorful straw (if it can be used by the res.). This is also a great trick for people that don't eat as much as they should (even if you just do a colorful placemat...studies show an increase in consumption with a colorful placemat alone! ).

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