California nursing homes, hospitals, healthcare clinics and other medical facilities present hazardous situations. The danger of infection and chemical exposure are some threats that healthcare workers face. Also, The Association of American Medical Colleges reports increased patient violence against medical staff. A healthcare facility and its workers can reduce injuries and other mishaps by using the following tips.
Being accidentally stuck by a needle is a threat to healthcare workers. A dirty needle can transmit bloodborne pathogens and spread disease. Training in how to use needles and syringes helps reduce accidental sticks.
Require workers to wear official identification badges. Visitors should also have official visitor’s badges. Anyone seen not wearing the proper identification is cause for alarm and is possibly a trespasser.
Workers should know how to move patients. Improper patient handling can injure the patient and the worker. Facility managers can provide training sessions on how to move patients in several situations.
A personal panic button is a device used to send for help during an emergency. A worker can wear this device as a necklace or a bracelet. Also, facilities can install several throughout the location for patients, visitors and other workers.
Many healthcare workers are exposed to chemicals that become dangerous when mishandled. Staff who work with these chemicals need training on proper handling since chemical burns and exposure can cause nursing injury and medical staff injuries.
Report harassment and violence
Workers should feel comfortable reporting inappropriate behavior to managers. Having official reporting procedures and encouraging their use helps identify dangerous behavior.
Healthcare professionals are known for working long hours. Workers in this situation can pay less attention to detail, develop fatigue and begin making mistakes. In a medical facility, even the slightest mistake can have devastating consequences. Workers should take breaks and avoid long shifts.
Facilities are responsible for providing personal protective equipment for workers. This includes items such as masks, gowns, face shields and gloves. Workers should also receive training on how to dispose of this equipment.
Healthcare workers have a right to feel safe on the job. Any positive step that improves safety is a step in the right direction.