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Infection Control & Patient Safety

For Nurses Week & Always: Keeping Patients Safe

Published May 6, 2014 11:48 AM by Barbara Smith
Nurses' Week starts on May 6 - 12 and ends on May 12 - Florence Nightingale's birthday. This national event recognizes the contributions we make to the community.   Of the multiple things we do for and with our patients, I think our overall focus is to keep our patients safe. We do this through direct care, via interdisciplinary relationships we've formed and through patient advocacy. Our impact also extends beyond our workplace as we are often resources for our friends, families, places of worship and our children's schools. Many of us also make contributions through nursing related volunteer work. How many of you have helped at a shelter, taught a hygiene class to kindergarteners or checked blood pressure at a county fair? This focus on keeping people safe may be our greatest impact. Patients recognize this which may be one reason why nursing was voted the most trusted profession in a 2013 Gallop poll.

One resource to further support our efforts for patient safety is the 10 Patient Safety Tips for Hospitals from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality lists. Nurses have a role in most of these tips but a direct impact in at least 5: preventing central line infections and DVTs, patient education about blood thinners, good discharge planning and involvement on effective teams. And I bet we'd all appreciate our work environments more if nurses had increased involvement with tip number 7: Use good hospital design principles. Evidence-based principles for hospital design can improve patient safety and quality by avoiding fall hazards, optimize hand hygiene, improve cleanliness, promote quiet and minimize distractions during tasks like medication preparation.

Thanks for you contributions to patient safety and our profession.

Happy Nurses Week!

posted by Barbara Smith

2 comments

Thanks Susan for your comment- I haven't heard of that reference but will be sure to look for it.

Barbara

Barbara Smith May 15, 2014 7:49 PM

Nice blog. Thanks for posting. I just bought a book called Infection Control for Advanced Practice Professionals; looking for new ideas.

Susan Creighton May 15, 2014 2:22 PM
Providence RI

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    Occupation: Infection Control Professionals
    Setting: Welch Allyn; St. Luke’s Hospital (Smith)
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