Health institutions are seen as the bastion of promoting and upholding the highest level of health and wellness practices. Be it at work or in simple everyday living, health institutions are go-to places for wellness information. But what if operations in health institutions do not mirror the responsiveness and reliability of disease containment and occupational safety? Health service is tainted, with society left in big trouble. Health workers, patients and the community are at a great risk to different extents.
At first, one may look at the condition of health institutions in poverty-stricken nations to see the impact of non-adherence to health and safety practices. One may be left with unease in witnessing how health workers deal with epidemics. With no instrument and equipment to protect the health worker, oftentimes, hospitals contribute to the spread of disease rather than its cure. Health workers make do with whatever resources they can to respond to medical conditions. Corridors are populated with patients of differing conditions- segregation of cases is taken for granted. This backward condition paralyzes operations in times of disasters and greatly affects medical response units.
On the other end of the spectrum, highly-funded medical institutions experience lack of staff participation in upholding work safety. Busy hospitals may overlook little details in endorsing a patient’s condition in between shifts. This laxity may blow-up to a bigger case given the sensitivity of the patient’s condition resulting to high-profile cases against established health institutions. In either case, health and safety is put to a minimum.
This is why hospital administrators turn to safety talks to facilitate an understanding and appreciation of safety protocols. Institutional workers need to be educated on the proper handling of medical wastes and pathologic agents. Without medical background, they are at a greater risk of infection. Hence, safety talks protect workers in the same way that nosocomial infections are prevented. Sanitation procedures are brought closer to the people and their significance highlighted in these talks.
Doctor’s and nurse’s skills are updated and operations streamlined to accommodate new regulations in accordance with the mandates of public health offices. Safety talks provide an avenue to remind health workers of their thrust to ensure public health.
Tackling emergency situations efficiently is significant to any health institution. The precariousness of the situation leaves little time for decision-making. Health workers therefore must not only be equipped but be highly-trained on how to respond and conduct evacuation of patients, when needed. While administering first-aid is a given, carrying-out emergency response and rehabilitation procedures is a different matter. Only with mastery and regular conduct of these protocols can a health worker execute the action plan with confidence.
Exit signs in emergency stairwells as well as emergency lights are made sure to be functioning and located strategically to aid in evacuation. Generators to cover power outage and maintain functionality of ventilators and life-support equipment are also checked.
Aside from disease- and response-related matters, the preparedness and skills of health workers in proper body mechanics also diminishes the risk of having muscular injuries brought about by transporting patients, medical equipment, and oxygen tanks.
Hospital layouts may also be improved to include ramps, for enhanced transport of wheel chairs and medical beds, service elevators for equipment and steel carts for pharmaceutical products distribution.
The concept of gowning and wearing head caps to sterile areas may seem obscure to laymen, but safety talks may engage the community to cooperate with hospital policies on visiting hours and restricted areas. This also betters hospital response for ambulatory cases.
The success of public health institutions lies in the way operations are carried-out. The fact that hospitals cater to infectious cases renders it a high-risk confine. Though health workers often receive benefits that would compensate the environment at which they operate, occupational safety may be pushed to greater heights by addressing the lack of information on the promotion of safety and sanitation. Investing in safety talks is seen as imperative in upholding awareness and putting mechanisms in place to the advantage of all stakeholders.
Safety talks are spread through an organization through the building of good relationships and safety awareness.