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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Kay Foland


falls, older adults, trauma, EMT awareness, EMT beliefs, triage practices


Falls among older adults continues to be a significant source of traumatic injury, which may lead to increased morbidity and mortality in this age group (Bonne & Schuerer, 2013; Peterson Jiwanlal, Rocca, & Crist, 2015). However, research suggests there is significant under-triage of trauma patients over the age of 55, which includes patients who fall (Kodadek, Selvarajah, Velopulos, Haut, & Haider, 2015). Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) play a vital role in early intervention as they are frequently the first to respond to older adult falls (Evans et al., 2017). The purpose of this project was to determine if utilization of the Falls Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT) increased the awareness, beliefs, and triage practices of volunteer EMTs. An informational session was presented in two rural Midwestern communities to volunteer EMTs along with introduction and initiation of the FRAT. A pre- and post-intervention survey was given to determine if there was an increase in EMT’s awareness and beliefs after utilizing the FRAT for three months. The survey results revealed that EMTs believed awareness of where to appropriately triage an older adult after a fall was increased, and older adults who fall often refuse triage even when suggested by the EMT. EMTs believed that an assessment tool was helpful in improving awareness of potential injury after older adult falls; however, use of the FRAT did not significantly increase the triage rate of older adult falls. Finally, EMTs believed that further education regarding older adult falls is necessary.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Falls (Accidents) in old age.
Emergency medical technicians.
Rural elderly -- Care.
Older people -- Care.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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