9 Safety Tips for Nurses
With so many occupational hazards in nursing, you must be well-prepared to safeguard your well-being as a nurse. This calls for awareness of the dangers in your work environment and strict adherence to the industry’s safety policies at all times. This article outlines nine safety tips for nurses.
1. Adhere to needle safety standards
Accidental needlestick injuries and related hazards remain a common threat as you often have to give injections under high-stress work situations and handle unpredictable patients. To prevent injuries, employ the best practices of handling sharps, such as never recapping needles by hand, having safe disposal before any procedure, and activating the device’s safety features.
You should also complete bloodborne pathogens training for better awareness on how to control exposure to infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C (HCV).
2. Be careful during hazardous drug administration
Always beware of the special handling requirements during hazardous drug administration and stick to them. For example, some drugs should only be administered when you have a mask on and wear double gloves. It is also highly recommended to seek clarification from your pharmacy about unfamiliar drugs to avoid unintentional exposure that could compromise your safety.
3. Proactively prevent the likelihood of infections
A critical aspect of nursing safety is to prevent the likelihood of infections from your patients. For example, if you have to handle patients recovering from flu, wear appropriate personal protective gear and prioritize getting your flu shot early. Most importantly, treat every substance in your work environment as contagious to avoid unnecessary risks.
4. Safe patient handling
You should avoid the physical hazards that often arise from patient handling when transferring or repositioning them by:
Never straining to lift or move a patient on your own
Using recommended patient handling techniques and positions to limit the likelihood of injuries or strains
Restricting manual handling of patients by relying on transfer devices and lifts for these processes. Suppose these tools are unavailable at your workplace, advocate for their purchase and use by talking to your superiors or management team.
5. Work on burnout prevention
While nursing is a highly demanding profession, you should remember to take good care of yourself each day, especially when at your workplace. Create some off-time whenever you can, limit the number of extra shifts you take, and monitor the number of hours you spend standing or walking. This will help prevent burnout, which often leads to frustrations and negligence that could seriously affect your health and safety.
6. Take care of your physical safety
Physical attacks on nurses are rising by the day, calling for a strong situational awareness to avoid being a victim of situations you would have avoided. Pay attention to the behaviors of your patients and families, and stick to your guts whenever you feel uncomfortable. When things get out of hand, quickly back away without turning your back as you leave the room.
7. Prioritize your personal health maintenance
Never ignore your personal health maintenance, especially your physical and emotional needs. Remember to be flexible in your shifts and strive to:
Drink enough water to avoid dehydration
Do not neglect your bladder
Take a break if you feel overwhelmed
Avoid skipping or rushing your meal times
Get enough sleep before your shifts
8. Prevent repetitive motion injuries
The long hours of standing and walking during your shit will take a toll on you, making it essential to prevent the likelihood of repetitive motion injuries by:
Investing in breathable, non-slip, and lightweight shoes that are designed to take the strain off your legs
Wearing compression socks or stockings when working
Never neglect mild pain from your feet, ankle, or hip to avoid escalation of the problem
Take rests whenever you can and massage your feet when they feel sore
9. Speak up on workplace harassment
Commit to playing an active role in creating safe and happy workplaces for the good of everyone. This begins by never allowing cases of workplace harassment to go unreported and speaking up on toxicities in your work environment. Being open to your superiors and coworkers will also go a long way in ensuring you avoid emotional stress that often has tremendous impacts on how you carry out your mandates.
While taking good care of patients is your primary responsibility as a nurse, you cannot fulfill this role without first attending to your health and safety concerns. Adhering to these safety tips while remaining vigilant about possible hazards will ensure you never jeopardize your wellbeing.Print this Article