Management Action Plan Safety and Health Issues in Nurses’ Workplace

ManagementActionPlan:SafetyandHealthIssuesin Nurses’Workplace

ManagementActionPlan:SafetyandHealthIssuesin Nurses’Workplace

I.Problem:Safety andhealthissuesin nurses’workplace

Alotof attentionhas beengiventheresponsibilityof nursesin enhancingthesafetyof their client,butlittlehas beendonesafeguardnurseswhoare facedwith a myriad of safetyhazardsin their workplaces.Asurveyconductedby theANS indicatedthatnursesrankamong theemployeeswhoworkunder themostdifficultconditions.Thesurveyindicatedthatabout 74 % of nursessufferfrom work-related stress,62 % musculoskeletal injuries,43 % infectiousdiseases,21 % hepatitis orHIV, and6 % latex allergy(American Nursing Association, 2011 andCenter forOccupational Health andSafety, 2013).Thisimpliesthatthesafetyandthehealthof nursesisat stake,which is an ironygiventhefactthatnursesare expectedto enhancethesafetyof patients.Therefore,an effectivemanagementactionplanthat can addresstheissueof nursesafetyandhealthin theworkplace is inevitable.

Failureto resolvetheissueof nursesafetyandhealthat placesof workwill affectthenursesthemselves, thepatientstheyserve,theentirehealthcaresystem.Nurseswill failto deliverqualityhealthcareservices,which will in turnreducethetreatmentoutcome,thusendangeringthepatients’recovery(Community Service Safety, 2007). Inaddition,poorworkingconditionsthatnursefacewill reducetherateof enrollmentfornursingcourseat the collegelevel, which will in turnexacerbatetheissueof nurseshortage(American Association of College of Nursing, 2015).

II.Measurablegoals

Goal1:Reduce theriskof infectionfrom differentdiseases(suchas TB, hepatitis, andHIV) by 50 %.

Theaccomplishmentof thisgoalwill ensurethatnursesworkin conditionsthat donot subjectthem to theriskof beinginfectedby contagiousdiseasesthattheir clientsare sufferingfrom.Thesuccessof thistargetwillbe measuredbydeterminingthechangein therateof infectionamong nurses.However,theseinfectionsmust be reasonablyassociatedwith theworkplace conditions,suchas failureof thehospitalsto provideprotectiveequipments.

Goal2:Reduce thesideeffectsassociatedwith handlingof dangerouschemicalswithin thehealthcarefacilityby 50 %.

Althoughhandlingof differenttypesof chemicals(suchas latex, drugs,anesthetic gas,anddisinfectants) is inevitablein thenursingprofession,theaccomplishmentof thisgoalwill ensurethatthesechemicalsarehandledin waysthat donot subjectnursesto theriskof sideeffects.Thiswill be measuredby determiningthenewnumberof casesof sideeffectsreportedandcomparingitwith thenumberof casesbefore theimplementation of themanagementactionplan.

Goal3: Reduce casesof musculoskeletal injuriesby 50 %.

Theaccomplishmentof thisgoalwill ensurethatnursesdonot sufferfrom physicalinjuriesthat areassociatedwith repetitivetasks,prolongedactivities,awkwardposture,andactivitiesthat requiretheuseof force.Theaccomplishmentofthistarget&nbspwillbe measuredto determinetherateof changein reportedcasesof disabling musculoskeletal damages.

Goal4:Reduces casesof psychologicalstressamong nursesby 50 %.

Theaccomplishmentof thisgoalwill ensurethatnursesareprotectedfrom thepsychologicaleffectsof beingoverworked, bullying,violence,andworkingaloneorbeingalonewith critically illpatients(Martin, 2014). Thesuccessof thisgoalwill be measuredby determiningthenumberof casesof depressionandstressreportedby nurseswithin a periodof one year.Thisshould thenbecomparedwith thenumberof suchcasesthat werereportedforone yearbefore theimplementation of MAP.

Theimplementation of thisMAPandthepursuance of theaforementionedgoalswill be facedwiththree majorconstraints.First,allgoalswill requirefinancialcapital,which might be difficultto get.Forexample,thereductionof hazardsrelatedto contagiousdiseasesandchemicalswill requirethepurchaseof safetyequipments forallnurses.Secondly,timeis a necessaryresourcethat might constraintheimplementation of theMAP.Third,allactionsrequiredto achievetheabovegoalswill requirespecialskills,which impliesthatthelackof specialistsin differentaspectsof theMAP(suchas risklevels of eachchemical)might increasethedifficultyof achievingpre-determined goals.

III.Listof possibleactions

  • Develop a record or a register of all chemical products that are stored in all health care premises.

  • Get and review material safety data sheet (MSDSs) file in order to assess the safety of use of these chemicals.

  • Use information in an MSDS to train employees on the safe use of chemicals.

  • Purchase personal protective materials and equipments.

  • Train employees on safe use of protective equipments.

  • Develop a procedure for labeling and storage of all chemicals.

  • Develop procedures for infection control.

  • Develop suitable methods for handling as well as disposal of sharps and infectious materials.

  • Establish and communicate a zero-tolerance bullying policy.

  • Develop suitable procedures for reporting, investigating, and resolving cases of workplace bullying.

  • Establish and communicate the process of conflict management.

  • Identify the health and safety training needs and organize training sessions.

  • Develop an occupational health and safety policy stating the organization’s commitment to the safety of employees.

  • Identify all situations as well as environments with the potential for the occupational aggression.

  • Develop and implement procedures for prevention of occupational violence.

  • Train workers on mechanisms of preventing aggressive and violent behavior at places of work.

  • Develop procedures for emergency response.

IV.Analysisandprioritization of thekeyactionsteps

Absolutelynecessarystepsare bolded in stepIII above,whilethosethat can bedroppedwithout significantinfluenceon theoutcomeare struck.

V.Organizingthekeyactionsinto a Management Action Plan

1.Developan occupationalhealthandsafetypolicystatingtheorganization’scommitmentto thesafetyof employees.

Thiscan beprecededby thedeterminationof gapsin preventionof healthandsafetyrisksthat affectnurses.

2.Organizingworkplace healthandsafetytrainingsessions.

Thereare two actions that should be takenbefore trainingcommences

  • Identification of training needs

  • Grouping of nurses according their specific needs

3.Developingproceduresforinfectioncontrol

Someof thestepsthat can becompletedbefore developingtheseproceduresinclude

  • Assessment of the level of risk of infection

  • Identification of the riskiest sections of the health care facility

4.Establishsuitablemethodsof handlingas wellas disposalof sharps andinfectiousmaterials.

Thiscan be precededthrough the identificationof specificsharps andinfectiousmaterialsthat increasetheriskof nurses’infection

5.Useinformationin theMSDS to trainemployeesonthe safeuseof chemicals.

Thisstepshould be precededby

  • Development of material safety data sheet (MSDSs).

  • Assessment of the safety levels of the use of all chemicals.

6.Purchaseandtrainnurseson theusepersonalprotectivematerialsandequipments.

Thisstepshould beprecededby theidentificationof specificprotectiveequipments.

7.Trainworkerson mechanismsof preventingaggressiveandviolentbehaviorat placesof work.

Thisstepshould beprecededby theidentificationof circumstancesandwork-related issuesthat increasetheriskofthe occupationalaggression.

8.Developsuitableproceduresforreporting,investigating,andresolvingcasesof workplace bullying.

Thisshould be precededby

  • Development of anti-bullying policy

  • Communication of the bullying policy to all employees

VI.Accountability

Figure1: Management Action Plan

Action

Person / department / team responsible

Completion date

1. Development of OHS policy

Department of Human Resources

September 2015

2. Workplace health and safety training

Department of Human Resources

July 2015

3. Development of procedures for infection control

Department of Nursing Administration

April 2015

4. Development of methods of disposing sharps and infectious materials

Department of Central Sterilization and Disinfection

May 2015

5. Training employees on safe use of chemicals

A team of experts from the Nursing Administration, Pharmacy, and Central Sterilization and Disinfection Departments

May 2015

6. Purchase and training employees on the use of personal protective materials

Department of Procurement

June 2016

7. Training employees on mechanisms of preventing aggressive behavior

A team comprising of members from the Human Resources and Public Relations Departments

June 2015

8. Development of procedures for reporting, investigation, and resolving cases of workplace bullying

Human resource manager

July 2015

In overall, the completion data for this MAP will be September 2015. Most of the actions will be taken simultaneously.

VII.Measurementandmonitoring

Thesuccessof thisMAPwill be determinedby measuringtheachievementof differentindicatorsas statedin sectionII above.Foraninstant,determiningtherateat which theinfectionof nursesoccurswill indicatethesuccessorthefailureof thepolicydesignedforpreventingtheseinfections.Theoverall successof theMAPwill be monitoredby theCommittee fortheImplementation of Nurses’ Health andSafety MAP,which will compriseof membersof stafffrom thehumanresources,pharmacy,andprocurementdepartmentsandchaired by theheadof theNursing Administration Department.Thecommitteewill be requiredto makeregularreportson theprogressof theMAPimplementation andsuggestsareasthat needimprovement.

References

AmericanNursing Association (2011). 2011ANA health and safety surgery hazards of the RN work environment.Silver Springs: ANA.

AmericanAssociation of College of Nursing (2015). Strategiesto reverse the new nursing shortage.Washington, DC: AACN.

Centerfor Occupational Health and Safety (2013). What should I know beforereading about this occupation? Centerfor Occupational Health and Safety.Retrieved March 2, 2015, fromhttp://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/occup_workplace/nurse.html#_1_3

CommunityService Safety (2007). Occupationalhealth and safety action plan for community service sector.Victoria: Community Service Safety.

Martin,M. (2014). Actionplan for people management in the health service.Dublin: Department of Health and Children.