(Last Updated On: March 21, 2021)
Effective Measures to Avoid Mishaps in a Nursing Setting
“A man does not live by soap alone or hygiene, or even health is not much good unless you can take a healthy view of it or, better still, feel a healthy indifference towards it.”
It’s a well-established fact that basic hygiene and health are a personal need for all. The persisting pandemic COVID-19 ratifies this even further as that how necessary it is to take effective measures for preventing mishaps in a nursing setting.
The integrative review presented here is only an insight to explore the issues that nurses are facing while responding to treating patients in the COVID-19 crisis.
It exposed several lacunas existing in the upkeep of caregivers and nurses. The foremost issue includes a shortage of medical supplies like personal protective equipment. And as reviews in journals indicate, it held psychological changes in them fearing infection among the nursing staff.
The implication of these shortcomings only ratifies the requirements of nurses affected across countries to substantiate their need to work with more confidence with the help of enhanced preparedness for pandemics and consider health and hygiene issues when drawing up crisis plans. It is imperative to support the nurses since they are a critical line of defense.
Indeed, more research must be conducted within the sector of pandemics regarding nursing. However, some of the points that need to be looked into at all times regarding their safety and security are as follows.
Clean your hands
It is a basic thumb rule for maintaining hygiene, and the surest way to avoid any illness or to get sick. Alcohol hand wash is some of the suggested and practical alternatives besides soap and water. Alcohol is not a cleaning agent.
Hands, visibly dirty or contaminated need constant washing effectively for fifty seconds, washed with soap and water, and then dried thoroughly. The preparation is the most effective measure for decontamination, followed by keeping small clean, unpolished nails.
It has also been suggested as the most effective check against the current pandemic. Basins also in such areas need to have automated liquid soap dispensers, paper hand towels, and foot-operated waste bins.
Alcohol hand gel, in the current scenario in a pandemic-like situation, needs to be available in all primary, secondary, and tertiary care setting areas.
Use lift facilities and transfer equipment
The use of lifts and devices that facilitate easy movement within the hospital premises is another added advantage while on duty. Nurses, while assisting patients, have a burden regarding the security of the patient as well as that of themselves. Therefore availing lift facilities are instrumental in preventing any mishap, including the patient as well as the caregiver. It is always necessary to maintain precaution as it takes just one wrong move to injure oneself.
Watch out for hazards and keep good body mechanics
While serving patients within the hospital premises, hazards must be entirely at bay. Nurses not only take care of this factor within the nursing area for patients, but they also check any untoward accident that is likely to happen in the deal.
Practicing ergonomics, which is a study of people’s efficiency in their working environment as well as good body mechanics, are essential effective measures for preventing mishaps. Nurses are advised to wear supportive shoes and watch for fall risks for themselves and also for the patients that they attend to. Shifting positions while attending work, helps muscle movement that minimizes pain and discomfort over time.
Step-in for peers
Dealing with patients could be, at times potentially violent if the patient is too ill or massive in size or weight. In such a condition, it is always necessary to speak up and step-in for a peer, a colleague nurse. Handling things alone can be potentially dangerous under such circumstances as help is not always available. Therefore, step-up and speak-up and take the offer of those providing assistance to peers whenever possible.
Get vaccinated for the flu
The caregivers at the hospitals are the most vulnerable people with a greater risk of catching flu or any likely infection that is prevailing. Patients transmitting the disease to nurses or caregivers in the hospital are not an unlikely probability.
Just like influenza, COVID-19 can be spread by merely sneezing and coughing. Vaccinations are the only preventive measure accepted in such circumstances or maintaining complete hygiene with a covered mouth area can be another preventative measure not to forget the hand hygiene that remains an essential aspect to keep.
Among the nursing community, immunization and vaccination are the only two standard methods for safeguarding themselves. The vaccines not only effectively safeguard them but also check to spread the infection among patients, colleagues, and their family members.
Immunization is a must, against other pathogens
Immunizing the body for keeping good health and immunity is always advised as a useful measure for preventing mishaps in a nursing setting.
Nurses almost across all hospitals globally are immunized for diseases that require complete immunization as prevention, and they are currently hepatitis B, tetanus and diphtheria, measles, mumps and rubella, influenza vaccines and added to it, which is still to find a way is a COVID-19 vaccination for immunization.
Practicing protection from contamination, a must for self-care!
The nurses have endless contaminated handling to do in hospitals, whether they are in the form of needles or syringes or much more like decontaminating surgical equipment.
Any inadequate measure in this direction can lead to extensive decontamination, frequently also associated as one of the causes of infection in hospitals. For the patients as well as nurses, equipment must be unscrupulously discarded if not decontaminated.
Patients, as well as the nurses, are likely to catch massive infections on account of this process is ignored.
Effectively cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing ensures that they can be made reusable and one of the effective decontamination methods. Reports of hospital staff affected by needle-injuries are a fact that has always been overlooked.
A campaign in this direction, to prevent needle stick injuries, is essential for nurses and all clinical professional practitioners and caregivers. It is a must and the only way to prevent awareness against injuries and find ways to avoid them.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): the need of the hour!
In the current pandemic scenario, personal protective equipment (PPE) is a must as a protective measure against COID-19. Care should be taken to avoid any shortcuts in this direction, as merely washing hands and having the mouth covered are not enough.
The selected use of appropriate gloves, eye protection, masks, and other items is a must to prevent exposure to other patients’ infection through a cough or sneeze to check COVID-19.
Practicing self-care and physical fitness
Physical fitness and overall wellness by taking measures like regular sleep, proper food, and nutrition, are some of the factors that are a must for increasing the efficacy of nursing staff. Fitness regime and desirable breaks also make a difference in improving efficiency and providing psychosocial support when needed to keep the immune systems in great shape.
Nursing safety is a reality. It needs to be effectively looked into, as the profession has more than just care attached to it as working ethics. Adequate measures for protecting and preventing any mishap are essential for both the health of nurses and their patients.
Hospitals need to provide targeted training and awareness education programs on this front for health care workers. Some procedures the caregivers practice have a higher than average risk of causing injury to themselves. Following the tips mentioned also helps in staying healthy to avoid more health problems in the future.