Sometimes, patients are unable to control the impulse to pull at their various lines, ET tubes, telemetry leads, or (gasp!) Foley catheters.
Restraints may not be in the best interest of the patient’s safety, and sometimes serve to agitate the patient further. Using a CNA as a sitter is a great restraint alternative choice, but let’s face it, sometimes keeping a patient from pulling at their lines is like trying to put a cat in a box to go to the vet!
So, here’s where mitts can be the BFF you’ve been waiting for! Several manufacturers produce washable “hand protectors” (yeah right, more like dressing/Foley/IV/nurse sanity protectors). In general, these protectors feature a generously pillowed palm, and lace-up or Velcro closures. The patient can move his/her arms freely, but cannot grasp lines to remove them.
So, you ask, how do I keep the patient from removing the mitts by using their teeth/other hand/legs? The hidden secret (when using lace-up mitts) is to cut a small hole in the top of the tongue (of the mitts, NOT the patient! This is important!). Lace up the mitts, and thread the top laces (furthest from the fingers) through this hole, then tie the laces in a bow to secure the mitt. This one small modification makes a world of difference when it comes to keeping the mitts ON your patient!
So, happy sitting, and enjoy that patent IV line!