14 Safety Tips for All Healthcare Workers
Around 221,400 work-related injuries and illnesses were reported in U.S. hospitals (2019) because of ineffective safety and precaution measures. More than five work-related injuries and illnesses were reported per 100 full-time employees.
If you’re also a healthcare worker, being the real hero, your safety is as vital as patient protection.
So, let’s explore all the crucial safety tips here!
1. Maintain Hand Hygiene
Good hygiene is the cornerstone of infection co ntrol in healthcare settings. Before and after getting in contact with patients and after touching any potentially contaminated surfaces, Wash your hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Alternatively, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when soap and water are not readily available.
2. Use personal protective equipment (PPE)
Always wear appropriate PPE, such as gloves, masks, gowns, and eye protection, based on the specific tasks and potential exposures. Make sure to dispose of used PPE properly to prevent cross-contamination.
3. Be careful while lifting and patient handling
Learn proper lifting techniques and mechanical assist devices to prevent musculoskeletal injuries when moving patients.
Ask for help from colleagues when needed, and never attempt to lift a patient alone if it exceeds your physical capabilities.
4. Handle needles safely
Exercise extreme caution when handling needles and sharps. Use safety-engineered devices and dispose of them in puncture-resistant containers immediately after use. Never recap needles or bend or break them manually.
Use safety-engineered devices, avoid recapping, and dispose of needles properly.
5. Take precautions against infection
Adhere to strict infection control protocols to prevent the spread of infections within healthcare settings. Clean and disinfect patient care areas, equipment, and surfaces regularly.
6. Manage hazardous substances properly
Be aware of the hazardous substances you may encounter in your workplace, such as chemicals and medications. Follow proper handling, storage, and disposal procedures to minimize exposure risks.
If someone assists you in any of the steps using these chemicals, let them know the handling procedures, too.
7. Be prepared for an emergency
Familiarize yourself with the emergency response protocols in your healthcare facility. Regularly participate in drills to make sure you are well-prepared for various emergencies.
Worse-case scenarios are common in the medical fie
ld. Even if you try to save lives, sometimes, it may not work out. Moreover, some clients and patients may even claim refunds for negligence, even if there were none.
So, look up the best medical malpractice insurance in Australia and invest in it. Secure yourself before it’s too late!
8. Prioritize mental health and stress management
The healthcare profession can be emotionally challenging. Put your mental health first and seek support when you need it. During your shifts, take short breaks to rest and recharge. Practice stress-relief techniques like meditation, exercise, or talking to colleagues.
9. Inculcate ergonomics and workspace safety
Ensure your workplace is designed ergonomically to increase comfort and reduce the risk of injuries from repetitive fatigue. Maintain good posture and take short breaks during long shifts to prevent fatigue.
10. Communicate and Report
Support open communication within your healthcare group. Promptly report any concerns, incidents, or near-misses. A culture of reporting promotes continuous improvement in safety practices.
11. Follow radiation guidelines
While medical imaging and radiation therapies have revolutionized healthcare, they pose certain risks.
Healthcare workers who use radiation-emitting devices must adhere to strict regulations and guidelines set by national and international authorities, such as IAEA and ICRP.
Minimize the exposure time, increase the distance from the radiation source, and use appropriate shielding materials to reduce the potential risk of radiation exposure.
12. Take Precautions for Blood and Body Fluid
Take preventive measures when handling blood or body fluids, using appropriate barriers and disposal methods to prevent exposure to infectious materials.
13. Protect the Respiratory system
Use respiratory protection, such as N95 masks, when dealing with airborne diseases or performing aerosol-generating procedures.
14. Stay up to date with vaccinations
Be aware of the recommended vaccines to protect yourself and your patients from the disease. Develop immunity to specific conditions, provide protection against infections, and reduce the spread of contagious illnesses within communities.
As healthcare workers, your well-being is vital to providing quality care to patients. With the above steps, you can reduce the risk of accidents at the workspace and protect yourself from possible hazards.
Remember, investing in your safety is crucial not only for you but also for your patients and colleagues. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and prioritize safety in everything you do as a healthcare professional.