“Let’s Be Careful Out There”… Staying Safe in Home Care By Kathy Clark, MSN, RN, CPN VP of Support Services, CareMed Chicago.
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Presentation on theme: "“Let’s Be Careful Out There”… Staying Safe in Home Care By Kathy Clark, MSN, RN, CPN VP of Support Services, CareMed Chicago."— Presentation transcript:
“Let’s Be Careful Out There”… Staying Safe in Home Care By Kathy Clark, MSN, RN, CPN VP of Support Services, CareMed Chicago
Hazards in the Home Healthcare workers face the same risks as those who work in hospital, clinic, and office settings. However, the work environment is less predictable and less controlled than in these other settings.
Hazards in the Home Cluttered rooms Patients in regular beds Limited resources and equipment Narrow stairways Limited lighting Small bathrooms that are often not clean Family pets…and family members Dangerous neighborhoods Bad weather conditions
HAZARD: Musculoskeletal Injuries CAUSES Heavy patients in regular beds No “lifting help” Cluttered work setting In and out of car, homes PREVENTION Proper body mechanics when lifting, transferring patients Good posture Careful carrying of bag, supplies
HAZARD: Slips, Trips, & Falls CAUSES Wet, cluttered floors Loose carpets or rugs Pets and children Electrical cords PREVENTION Wear sensible shoes Watch where you are walking Don’t hurry! Keep a clear work area
HAZARD: Infection Control & Medical Waste Handling PROBLEMS No PPE (“I used the last gloves/mask,” etc.) Unclean surroundings (bugs!); no appropriate handwashing facilities Overfilled sharps containers Leaking medication containers (chemo) PREVENTION Keep bag stocked with PPE items Carry waterless soap, and wash hands with “real” soap and water as soon as possible; good bag technique Teach patients about proper disposal Inspect meds, supplies
HAZARD: Personal Safety PROBLEMS Dangerous neighborhoods Car problems Traffic/detours Workplace violence- -family violence Bad weather conditions/disasters PREVENTION Do not visit known dangerous areas in the dark Keep car in good condition Have a good map; always know “another way” Avoid unsafe situations in the home Be prepared!
GENERAL HAZARDS Electrical--overloaded outlets, frayed cords; or, lack of power Fire--cluttered living areas, smoking in bed, oxygen, no fire extinguisher Broken/inappropriate use of equipment, lack of supplies
Staying Safe “Out There” Know your patient--review the information prior to the visit Plan morning visits for the patients in unsafe areas Notify the office/scheduler if your schedule changes, so someone knows where you are Know where you are going--get directions
Staying Safe “Out There” Carry a cell phone, or change for a pay phone Do not carry a purse or wear expensive jewelry; lock purse and any valuables in the trunk Be aware of your surroundings Take the “beater”, not the “beamer”; keep car in good condition, with enough gas If you arrive at a visit, and the area appears unsafe, drive away and call the office
Staying Safe “Out There” Make the patient aware that they have a responsibility to provide you with a safe work environment, just as you have a responsibility to provide quality care