Medical Science - Other

A look at Hospital Safety

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"A look at Hospital Safety"
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In every workplace, a set of standard safety issues exists and a set of specialized safety issues exists. In a Fuels operation, the standard industrial safety issues apply, and the specialized issues of transfer, storage, testing, and movement around highly volatile fuel and it's more toxic additives comprise specific issues that are unique to that field of endeavor. In food service, food hygiene, cutting, working with high heat, ergonomic, and slipping hazards abound

Hospital safety issues include the standard issues of workplace safety and also incorporate specialized issues of biological, chemical, mechanical, radiological, x-ray, social, and ergonomic danger and hazard. In the biological area, measures must be taken to prevent taking on disease and to prevent spreading it to others, so such issues as learning not to rub the nose, eyes, and other mucosa areas, washing hands in a proper way, and properly disposing of waste can become quite important rituals and procedures.

There are chemical hazards in the hospital that range from potential exposure to noxious, sedating, and intoxicating gases to accidental needle sticks from filled syringes that could contain substances, like insulin, which are deadly, to one person while they are helpful to another. In the hospital laboratories, exposure to a host of potentially harmful or sickening chemicals and chemical processes is of concern. Proper safety gear and procedures are of the utmost importance.

The specialized mechanical safety issues in hospitals involve working around complex, heavy, and large equipment which presents electrical shock hazards, tripping hazards from wiring, or which can cause severe head, lifting, falling, and other injuries. Some mechanical items emit gasses in controlled ways. When equipment is not properly maintained or used, the accidental emissions of toxic gas or electrical shock hazards are potentially deadly. Radiological and X-Ray exposure must be limited by wearing of proper shielding gear and in the proper use of the equipment.

Ergonomic hazards abound in the hospital. From moving patients or struggling with out of control patients as well as visitors, to handling violent or disruptive incidents that occur, the hazards of dealing with people are enormous and can come without notice. Training in self defense, proper lifting and moving, contacting security personnel, and in subduing out of control people is essential. In cases where surgeons, surgical nurses, and other personnel must spend extensive time in positions where they bend over patients, back and neck problems are highly likely to develop. In administrative areas, all of the ergonomic problems of spending days at the computer apply.

The overwhelming issue that separates hospital safety from other fields is in the exposure to violence, toxins and to pestilence, parasites, and diseases. In a place where anyone can walk or be brought in with any disease that is known to man, the safety issues range from being exposed to the common cold to being exposed in a deadly flu. A patient can come in with serious radiological, explosive, or chemical exposure issues. Patients can have unexploded bullets in their bodies or on their persons. Family members, enemies, or even attackers can be in various states of psychological disorder. Proper training in calling for security, isolating hazardous patients, and in maintaining personal protection and hygiene is essential in preventing tragedy and disaster.

And our brave front line and combat soldiers carry on, with the gratitude of a nation.

More about this author: Elizabeth M Young

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