Health care workers play a very crucial role in the survival of humanity. They are constantly exposed to dangerous health situations because they have the intention to provide care to people who are not feeling well. Some of the health risks that healthcare workers are exposed to include radioactive materials, injuries from needles, exposure to pathogens and dangerous chemical substances, amongst others.
These health care workers are not limited to only doctors and nurses, but also include all medical personnel and workers in healthcare facilities; for example, people who maintain medical equipment.
Although it is virtually impossible to totally eliminate the risks that are associated with their job, here are five safety tips that can ensure that health care workers are exposed to less risks and dangerous situations.
Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and clothing
Health care workers are constantly exposed to the body fluids of patients that may carry blood-borne pathogens. These pathogens are responsible for carrying infections through the body fluids of the patient and whenever the health care worker comes in contact with these fluids, they are exposed to the pathogens. Therefore, it is essential that the health care staff use necessary safeguards by wearing appropriate personal protective equipment that will help prevent them from coming in contact with the fluids/infections. Gowns, safety goggles, gloves, face shields are invaluable for safety.
David Rowland, Head of Marketing at Effective Software, knows the importance of safety in business. He claims that “the role of safety in business is vitally important. It is imperative that we are proactive in developing a positive safety culture in our businesses. What we need is a genuine cultural shift, and this can have a profound impact on not just our workers, but also other KPIs such as consumer confidence and reputation.”
Proper disposal of used medical equipment
Common medical equipment like needles, scalpels, razor-sharp objects are chief carriers of infections after use in medical facilities. It is important that medical personnel put in place proper disposal systems for such materials to avoid the health risk that will arise from exposure to them. Exposure to such materials is tantamount to instant infection and health risks. Sharp objects should not be reused, disposable gloves should be used, and syringes should be disposed of immediately after use at the point of use.
Reporting all hazards as soon as they occur
As far as the field of health care is concerned, there is no such thing as a little or huge hazard. All hazards are serious! Whether it’s a dent in a bed, a rust in a metal, a water spill on the floor, or a leak in a pipe or container, the hazard is serious and must be reported to the appropriate personnel with immediate effect. All health care workers must be aware of all hazards associated with their environment and ensure they are rectified immediately to prevent threats to safety.
Ensuring medical personnel are properly trained on use of equipment
An important aspect of health care safety is the knowledge of how to properly handle equipment. There is almost nothing more dangerous than not knowing how to handle or operate equipment used in the provision of health care. Training and practice sessions are mandatory when knowledge is lacking. Reminders and posters on safe handling procedures are helpful.
Working in pairs is safer than working alone
“Two is better than one,” the saying goes. When possible, it is safer to work in pairs because one person can help the other when they are slipping or falling short of safety standards.
Holly Shaw is part of the content team at Effective Software. Holly has worked in the health and safety industry since graduating from university. When not writing about health and safety practices, Holly can be found researching new travel locations.