Safety of Healthcare Personnel

Introduction

Nursing personnel plays the groundbreaking role in the healthcare sphere and medical delivery organizations. In the course of work, nurses conduct all the possible action to keep the patients safe. However, the nature of their work presupposes a number of health risks. Many researchers overlook safety and health concerns of healthcare personnel. The healthcare field is a stressful sphere with severe workload, which can contribute to disease and risk of injury in patient care environments. To my way of thinking, raising the theme of healthcare personnel security is essential, as it can make healthcare leaders be aware of nursing hazards, which healthcare employees face every single day. In order to reduce the risks of the healthcare diseases and injuries, it is necessary to discuss the ways, which can orient and educate the nursing personnel about the existing hazards and could assist them to avoid their occurrence on practice.

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Bloodborne Pathogens

The nature of the nursing practice presupposes their constant dealing with needles and sharp instruments. It increases the risk of penetration of the bloodborne pathogens into the blood of healthcare employees. In order to avoid this risk, the nursing personnel should be educated about the precautionary measures, which assist to conduct the work properly and minimize the exposure towards the bloodborne pathogens. Tweedy, discussing this issue in his work, states that it is necessary to make employees discard the contaminated needles and sharp instruments as soon as it is possible (281). It is worth perceiving all kinds of blood as infected ones, as it increases the desire to take the acceptable precautions. I want to emphasize the fact that infected syringes and needles really pose severe danger to healthcare employees, as they could be the instruments of transmission of such serious disorders as HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C. In such a way, it means that nurses have the opportunity to obtain these diseases every single day. Conducting personnel education classes in this situation might become valuable tools and could reduce the possibility of personnel’s contamination.

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Hazardous Material Safety

Another common threat, which healthcare employees encounter every single day, occurs from aerosols, gases, and skin contaminants (Tweedy 281). The exposures towards these chemical substances can occur on the regular basis or acute basis. Particular substances seem to be extremely dangerous, as they could result in the occurrence of such health disorders as asthma, COPD, and trigger attacks. In order to decrease the possibility of negative consequences, which occur out of the application of the chemical substances, the material safety data sheet has to be composed by the health care facility’s officials. Researchers Gillingham and Seibel emphasize that this is a common communicable tool that explains the chemical dangers and safety procedures (368). The useful tips, as well as detailed explanation of the possible side-effects can assist the nursing personnel to become aware of the possible risks and dangers, as well as stick to the precautions and regulations, which could make their life safer. I want to admit that hospital officials have to take the active part in the process of employees’ education, as it makes target outcomes more efficient.

Stress as the Workplace Risk Factor

Stress is one of the most significant workplace hazards for nurses, who always work under pressure. The stress is caused by such conditions as understaffing, nurse shortages, paperwork, tight schedule, demanding patients, malfunction of the equipment, and proximity to the death of the individuals. Nursing profession often conducts the depersonalizing role, and healthcare employees often experience that they are alone, isolated, frustrated, and angry. Stress negatively affects the quality of work. It promotes such unfavorable health conditions as apathy, lack of confidence, and absenteeism. It often results in such physical consequences as loss of appetite, mental disorders, migraines, sleeping disorders, etc. (Tweedy 38). It has a serious effect on the personality of an individual. Moreover, it decreases the motivation of nurses. Decreased motivation is a dangerous phenomenon in healthcare sphere, as nurses deal with the dependent patients, who constantly need their care and assistance. Decreased motivation may adversely affect the quality of healthcare and can result in negative outcome. The healthcare facility officials are obliged to provide special educational trainings to its employees. Nurses have to be aware of the methods, which can improve the ability of the workers to cope with stress. Tweedy also states that extremely efficient are the employee assistance initiatives and stress management plans (38). Employee assistance initiatives improve the ability of the workers to solve the problematic situations, stress management plants reveal the nature of stress, its causes, and factors that exacerbate the stressful situation. 

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Administrative Area Safety

I want to note that most of the health care facilities pay attention to the factors, which directly affect the personnel, but overlook the administrative areas inspections. It was already mentioned that nursing profession is extremely demanding. It presupposes constant activity and business. While performing the myriad of healthcare tasks and duties, employees are obliged to lift something, climb, apply the electric equipment etc. The administrative areas could be truly dangerous, especially in situations, when there appear malfunctions or breakages. Moreover, nearly every healthcare facility includes such areas as emergency department, gift shops, and the location for patient affairs. These places are often overcrowded and there exist a high possibility of violent or terrorist attack. The nursing staff has to go through a special preparation in order to know all the emergency rules. The desks and drawers have to be closed, the aisles have to be clear, and every worker should take the responsibility of reporting about the malfunction of the equipment or damage of the furniture. Despite the fact that at first sight, these things seem to be trifles, they may cause a number of problematic situations, and pose serious threat to health and well-being of the personnel.

Conclusion

In conclusion, nursing personnel experiences a number of risks and dangers during its practice every single day. In order to prevent the occurrence of the unfavorable outcomes, it is worth considering the issues, which are directly related towards the safety of nursing staff. Nurses every single day have a possibility to obtain the contagious diseases through the needles, syringes, and sharp instruments. Moreover, they constantly work with a number of chemical substances, which also have the detrimental effect on human health. The stress turns out to be another factor, which significantly affects the physical and psychological well-being of the nursing personnel. Nurses are obliged to work under complex conditions, and demand extra assistance. The last discussed problematic issue was the administrative area safety. Despite the fact that it seems to be the smallest hazard, it still poses a serious risk for healthcare employees. Healthcare officials of facilities are obliged to conduct the staff education in order to introduce the precautions, which might be efficient in preventing the negative health consequences of the staff. Nurses are the inevitable part of the healthcare field, and their health, physical and psychological capabilities have to be preserved and valued.

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