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I work in an outpatient infusion center where there are many things, we do to protect our patients. We do a falls risk assessment on all of our patients to identify those at risk of having a fall in the unit. When we identify those at risk, we will implement things in order to help prevent them from falling. We always use two identifiers to identify the right patient to receive the right treatment and IV mediations. We have many steps with two registered nurses to hang and sign off any blood products. These checks help to identify the right patient and right product in order to prevent error and bad patient outcomes. We only use self-retracting safety needles to give injections. These help to prevent injury to both the patient and staff after initial injection is received. We follow strict protocol to store all medications and to handle them safely. We use universal protocol when handling drugs in order to prevent inappropriate exposure to medications. Drugs are all locked up and only those that are supposed to have access to them do. Finally, we use sterile technique with all PICC or central line dressing changes in order to prevent infection, hospitalization or negative patient consequences.
As a pediatric and adult infusion nurse there are many areas of safety that we as ambulatory care nurses can do for our patients. One safety area is to assess if our patient is a current high falls risk. We have special tools to assess our patient to see if they are a high falls risk, especially after reviewing their current medication list. I always communicate with my nurse aid if the patient will need help with going to the bathroom and if they need a wheelchair upon discharge. Another important area of safety is making sure there is a correct weight for our patient for a specific weight based medication. I feel this can be easily overlooked and it is crucial to make sure our patients get the correct dosage of their medication for their infusions. In addition to making sure a patient's weight is up to date, we as infusion nurses also inquire about any recent usage of antibiotics, fevers in the past 48 hours, wounds that have not healed, any live vaccines, or recent surgeries. These questions are very crucial to know before a patient can receive a specific medication. If a medication was infused and a patient had any of these issues there could be a delay in healing of wounds, and also lower the patient's immune system. During blood transfusions there is a safety protocol of having two registered nurses sign off on the blood product the patient is about to receive. I feel this is a great safety tool because a patient can have a significant blood transfusion reaction if given the wrong blood type. Finally, another safety check that is built into our therapy plans is to review our patient's chart prior to their infusion and to verify the patient meets all requirements for their upcoming infusion, if they need any additional lab work prior to their infusion, any pre-medications to prevent a reaction, and any observation periods needed and vital sign requirements.
identify at least five (5) things you can do to protect the safety of your patients. 1. Mark the chart and provide yellow socks if they have a risk for falls 2. Provide chairs without wheels for sitting 3. Use two patient's Identifiers. 4. Use a picture on the patient's chart 5. Assess their level of understanding in reference to their health history.