Restraints are devices or drugs ordered by a physician, and used by trained personnel, to restrict movement or normal access to one’s body. In some cases restraints may be necessary to help maintain patient safety.
Certain medications are called chemical restraints because they create a calm state and keep agitated patients safe by calming down the nervous system. Sometimes these medications are used as an alternate or adjunct to physical restraints to help maintain patient safety. Emphasis should be placed on identifying the cause of unsafe behaviors and addressing those causes first.
According to the Joint Commission, there are several steps that can be taken to avoid restraint use. Yet restraints may still be necessary at times to protect the patient.