There are several applications of technology to prevent various types of occupational hazards in nursing. Electronic lifting devices should be used to lift patients instead of physical lifting. Notably, this reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in nurses. Another danger that can be prevented using technology is violent assaults from patients. Installation of surveillance cameras and security alarm systems helps in mitigating assaults on nurses. Finally, installation of efficient ventilation machines in operating rooms helps reduce fatigue in nurses who stand for long hours (Xueqin, Siyou, & Lixia, 2015). These measures are not exhaustive, however. There is need to embrace fully automated systems in all tasks that require heavy lifting by nurses.
Administration and Policy Changes
To minimise incidences of musculoskeletal injuries in nurses, hospitals should implement a no-lift policy for nurses when dealing with patients (Ramsay, 2011). Instead, they should embrace the use of lifting devices or incorporate a team of nurses in lifting a single patient.
Hospital management should also incorporate the input of nurses in Job Hazard Analysis (JHA). This strategy will enable them to accurately determine risk areas and subsequently issue efficient control systems (Ramsay, 2011). Policy decisions should be converted from being the purview of only the management but also the nurses in the workstations.
All accredited nursing schools should have their training curricula revised to incorporate practical training in occupational hazard management (Ramsay, 2011). The students should receive knowledge at an early stage on possible risk areas in the profession during training as opposed to finding out unexpectedly when practicing. This proactive approach will reduce the necessity of current reactive approaches in occupational hazards.
Patient and Nurse Safety
Hospitals should turn to the procurement of safer equipment for both patients and nurses. For instance, using double-layered gloves, latex-free gloves, safer alternatives to disinfectants and safer needles (Alavi, 2014).
Procedures to Guarantee Equitable Access, Treatment, and Prevention
Hospital management should strive to ensure that their procedures are standardized with an aim for safety. For instance, the timing of handling patients, cleaning, waste disposal and handling of sharp objects are activities which should be regulated by the hospitals (Xueqin, Siyou, & Lixia, 2015). Nurses should be provided with clear and safe guidelines when faced with these situations.
Nurses must be proactively trained in the operation of patient-lifting devices, stress management strategies, and management of violent patients.
There is a great need for hospital management to formulate nurse-friendly schedules especially those working long hours and night shifts. There should be provisions for taking breaks and rotations of nurses to prevent fatigue (Gorman, Dropkin, Kamen, Zuckerman, & Lowe, 2013). Fatigue causes physical weakness and makes the nurses susceptible to occupational hazards such as needle stick incidences.
Alavi, N. (2014). Occupational Hazards in Nursing. Nursing and Midwifery Studies, 1.
Gorman, T., Dropkin, J., Kamen, J., Zuckerman, N., & Lowe, T. (2013). Controlling Health Hazards To Hospital Workers. A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, 1-167.
Ramsay, J. (2011). A New Look at Nursing Safety: The Development and Use of JHAs in the Emergency Department. The Journal of SH & E Research, 1-12.
Xueqin, L., Siyou, H., & Lixia, C. (2015). Progress in Protection of Nurses Working in Operating Room against Occupational Hazards. Universe Scientific Publishing, 1.
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