In nursing, there are a lot of different things that can cause a dangerous or unsafe situation. From lifting patients and moving equipment to dealing with combative people or bullying coworkers, there are a lot of harmful things to be concerned about. It is everyone’s job to make sure that you and your patients are in the safest situation possible. Here are some great tips that can help you to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others.
- Learn the proper way to lift. Be sure to ask for help if you are required to lift something outside your capabilities.
- Be self-aware when using sharps. If you are not feeling on top of your game or are at the end of the shift, pay special attention to make sure that you do not inadvertently expose yourself to hazardous body fluids.
- Be sure that supplies are stored in safe and proper places, with medications and other controlled items locked up securely.
- If administering medication, check and double check that the medication, dosage, and patient are correct before moving forward. Even a small error here can have big consequences.
- Understand policies for dealing with combative or threatening patients. Always know the safest way out of a situation and how to call for help, if needed.
- Immediately clean up or call for the cleanup of any spills. Be sure that you and your patients avoid the area until it is safely cleaned.
- Learn and regularly emergency procedures and the best ways to exit the building in case of an emergency.
- Understand reporting procedures for threats in the workplace. Whether the threat comes from a patient or a co-worker, be sure that the proper documentation has been submitted and follow up if needed.
- Practice proper handwashing procedures after contact with hazardous substances and when interacting with different patients. It will help protect your own health and also prevent the spread of communicable illnesses between patients.
- Use a mask when caring for and working with patients who have unknown illnesses or highly contagious conditions. Also, when caring for patients who have compromised immune systems, take extra care to protect them from any germs that you may be carrying.
- Know your personal limits. If you are working doubles or long shifts and begin to feel overly exhausted, ask for backup. Thoughtless errors can occur when overtired, which can be dangerous for you and for your patients.
- When exiting the building at night, be sure that you are in a safe situation. Go in pairs when possible and always carry your keys in your hand to avoid the distraction of searching for them in the dark.
Depending on your office or facility, some of these tips may not apply or there may be other safety concerns that you should consider. Remember, if you ever feel as if a situation or procedure is unsafe for yourself, a co-worker, or a patient, do not be afraid to speak up. Nurses can only take care of the health and well-being of your patients if everyday safety concerns are properly addressed.
Have any other crucial safety tips that help keep you and your coworkers protected? Share with us in the comments section below.