Addressing Safety In Home Care Essay

1679 words - 7 pages

A universal aspiration for all Registered Nurses (RN) and workplace environments is to create a safe atmosphere for both the client and employees. The RN has an obligation to ensure, “a culture of safety by using established occupational health and safety practices, and other safety measures to protect client, self and colleagues from injury or potentially abusive situations” (Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association, 2007, p. 11). This competency guides RN’s to provide and advocate safe practice environments. Thus, the issue this paper will discuss is Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). The population being focused on is home care, which is, “care provided to patients in their homes to restore their functional capacity, to allow them to manage their care independently, and to enable them to remain safely in the community” (Panasci, 2009, p.190). The writer received consent from the Home Support Team Manager from the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region (PAPHR) who will be referred to as O.S. By conducting an interview in conjunction with O.S, the writer gained insight into the manager’s role, challenges, and ensuring OH&S practices. For the all-inclusive interview refer to Appendix A. This paper will depict the essence of OH&S, the manager and writer’s approaches and strategies to resolving the challenges.
Management Challenge
The challenge that was the focus of the interview was OH&S in a home care environment and the difficulties associated with the implementation of minimizing occupational hazards. OH&S prevents and protects employees from workplace hazards (Chadwick & Doyle, 2008). The six types of health and safety hazards are biological, chemical, ergonomic, physical, psychosocial, and safety (Chadwick & Doyle, 2008). Some examples of common hazards specific to home care noted by O.S are poor housekeeping, falls, needle stick injuries, extreme weather conditions, second hand smoke, violence, and stress (personal communication, September 20, 2011, Chadwick & Doyle, 2008). A significant implication of enforcing a safe work environment in home care, is if OH&S regulations are not correctly enforced, employees may not report the incident or potential incident that transpired within a home (O.S., personal communication, September 20, 2011; Quinn et al., 2009). Safety within home care is unique, mostly because a home is created for living and not for healthcare (Lang & Edwards, 2006). Supported by the lack of home care based technology and lack of team support within a home (Lang & Edwards, 2006). Within a hospital setting assistance from other employees is down the hallway, unlike a client’s home (Lang & Edwards, 2009). Most of client safety research took place within an institution setting, therefore making the findings difficult to generalize to a home care environment (Lang & Edwards, 2006). Another significant risk is violence, which can occur in unsafe neighborhoods, or the client or family member as the abuser,...

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