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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 495103, 5 pages
Research Article

Nursing Home Resident Symptomatology Triggering Transfer: Avoiding Unnecessary Hospitalizations

1School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 3601 4th Street, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
2School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, 1700 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78712, USA

Received 27 July 2012; Revised 4 September 2012; Accepted 4 September 2012

Academic Editor: Sheila Payne

Copyright © 2012 Alyce S. Ashcraft and Jane Dimmitt Champion. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study was to describe nursing home resident symptomatology and medical diagnoses associated with nursing home to hospital transfers. A retrospective chart review of documented transfers was conducted at a 120-bed, nonprofit urban Continuing Care Retirement Center nursing home facility located in the southwestern United States. The transferred residents ( ) had seventy different medical diagnoses prior to hospital transfer with hypertension, coronary artery disease, and congestive heart failure most frequently reported. Most frequently reported symptomatology included fatigue, lethargy or weakness, shortness of breath, and change in level of consciousness. Multiple symptomatology was indicative of a wide variety of medical diagnoses. The diagnoses and symptomatology recorded in this paper identify the importance of strategic planning concerning assessment and communication of common nursing home resident symptomatology and the importance of basic nursing and diagnostic procedures for prevention of potentially avoidable hospitalizations.