Essential Tips for Ensuring Patient Safety

NursingSeptember 01, 2021

Established in 2019 by the 72nd World Health Assembly, World Patient Safety Day was created to promote the fundamental principle of medicine: “first, do no harm.” The overall objectives are to “enhance global understanding of patient safety, increase public engagement in health care safety, and promote global action to prevent and reduce avoidable harm in health care.” 

Nurses put patient safety front and center every day, and meeting this objective comes with the challenges of balancing the bustling environment of a hospital to addressing the needs of the patients themselves.  

To keep everyone safe, nurses must keep the following things in mind.  

Always follow universal precautions 

The Joint Commission International offers National Patient Safety Goals to help keep patients safe. These include: 

  • Identifying patients correctly by verifying their name and date of birth; 
  • Ensuring effective communication when handing off patients to another healthcare provider; 
  • Improving the safety of high alert medications by taking extra precautions; 
  • Preventing mistakes in surgery by following safe surgery guidelines; 
  • Lowering the risk of healthcare associated infections with proper handwashing, and; 
  • Using appropriate monitoring and moving techniques to reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls. 

Sometimes it’s the patient themselves who are agitated or presenting a challenge. To ensure everyone’s safety in such a situation, remember to: 

Stay calm 

If you’re tired, especially at the end of a long shift, it’s easy to become irritated when a patient is uncooperative. Take a few deep breaths or step out of the room for a quick break, if possible. And be sure your routine includes self-care that helps you find ways to control your stress. When you’re calm, your patient will feel your energy and may use it to calm themselves down, too.  

Consider the patient’s perspective  

Nurses often encounter people when they’re at their worst, after receiving a scary diagnosis or while experiencing pain and discomfort. When patients get angry, it’s often their fears that are talking. Try to focus on the other person’s experience and not your own. Take yourself out of the equation and don’t take the situation personally. 

Look for an underlying cause of mood shifts 

Sometimes patients experience side effects from medications that can change their mood. Or it’s possible they’re in pain. Consider the possibility that their care needs to be corrected with a new form of treatment.  

Helping people when they need it most and ensuring their safety during care can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re thinking of becoming a nurse, Fortis can help. Click here for more information on our nursing programs or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.