Falls are a common risk for patients who are receiving inpatient care, particularly among the elderly or patients with decreased mobility. Because of this, falls prevention is a common initiative at most hospitals and care facilities. Most nurses are expected to round on their patients hourly, at a minimum, and during these rounds, they are expected to ask their patients about the four P's - Pain, Potty, Positioning, and Possessions. By ensuring the four P's are covered, the nurse is ensuring the patient is comfortable and has everything they need, which will likely prevent them from attempting to get up on their own, hence preventing falls. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate has an understanding of falls prevention and the four P's of nursing. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should describe how they would check on the patient using the four P's. A more successful answer to this question can include a situation of how the candidate has used the four P's to prevent a patient from falling in their nursing career, how they trained a colleague on the four P's, or even how they implemented a falls prevention program at their facility using the four P's.
"In this situation, I would go through the four P's with the patient to prevent her from attempting to get up and falling between then and the next time I rounded on her. I would first assist her to the restroom then help her relieve any pain she was having. Then, before I left the room, I would ensure she was in a comfortable position and had everything she needed near her. This is something I do with all my patients, even if they seem well enough and able bodied, because failing to do so could mean they may attempt to get up on their own and fall. This is a part of my job as a nurse that I take very seriously because I know how serious patient falls are."