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Authors

  1. Ward, Cynthia W. MSN, RN-BC, ACNS-BC, CMSRN

Abstract

Background: Nurses on an adult surgical unit perceived a decrease in patients' mobility and an increase in postoperative complications, which led to an initiative to motivate patients to ambulate.

 

Research questions: The questions addressed in this study refer to adult patients having surgery: Is there a relationship between ambulation and length of stay (LOS)? Did "walking the dog" affect how early and how many times they ambulated? Did "walking the dog" affect the incidence of postoperative complications?

 

Methods: Photos of dogs were made available and patients were encouraged to "walk the dog" at least three times daily.

 

Conclusions: Although this intervention didn't lead to a significant difference in LOS or complications, patients anecdotally reported an increased motivation to ambulate.