How to Keep Healthcare Professionals Safe in the Field
Balancing Production and Safety With Our Nurses
Working in a hospital as a nurse is not for the faint of heart.
Nurses are on their feet the entire shift, which is often 12 hours or more. While they do typically work three or four-day weeks, sometimes these days are all back-to-back, which can cause the nurse to become overtired and burnt out.
Nurses also are at risk of being injured on the job, especially if they are already exhausted from a long days’ work.
Most common injuries nurses face
The most reported injury amongst nurses is back injury. They lift heavy patients all day long, which can cause wear and tear on the back.
Other common injuries include wrist sprains, minor cuts and scrapes, burns and foot injuries. As a result, hospitals are looking at ways to reduce the risk of injury in nurses in order to stay fully staffed and run at their most efficient rates.
How hospitals are keeping nurses safe
Hospitals are constantly looking for ways to increase safety among their staff.
This especially rings true when it comes to older nurses. Hospitals do not want to lose their most experienced nurses due to injury or exhaustion, so they’re doing everything they can to ensure this doesn’t happen.
They see the value these employees bring to the table. Some methods of keeping nurses safe include:
* Encouraging nurses to know their limits - Hospitals are stressing that nurses know how much work they can handle and being honest about it. If they’re getting burnt out, they are encouraged to speak up before getting to the point of exhaustion or injury.
* Not moving patients on their own - An increasing number of hospitals are implementing lift apparatus’s to help nurses move patients, and many hospitals do not want nurses attempting to move a patient that is too big for them. They allow the nurses to ask for help when moving patients to prevent injury and make it easier on everyone. This is also much safer for the patient.
* Setting work limits - Certain hospitals, under the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine, limit the number of hours a nurse can work to no more than 60 hours in a 7 day period, and shifts cannot be longer than 12 hours at a time. Most injuries are seen when nurses have been working nonstop for more than a few days.
* Training nurses on the importance of safety - Hospitals want the nurses and staff to be as involved as possible when it comes to safety measures. They encourage sharing of ideas and attending safety seminars to allow everyone to be included. Having safety of high importance in hospitals keeps it fresh on the minds of nurses, making them less likely to perform a task on their own, such as lifting a heavy patient, and get injured.
Nurses are more productive and better at their jobs when they’re kept safe.
Hospitals should hopefully realize that the safer they keep their staff, the safer the patients will be.
One final method that hospitals have been enacting is providing top-notch healthcare to their employees.
This guarantees that the employee will have adequate coverage if, by chance, an accident or injury does occur.
So, how does your hospital go about making sure its nurses stay healthy and safe?
About the Author
Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She covers topics on health care, time tracking, and small businesses.