According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are six areas of concern for those who enter into a home health care environment. They are:
- Violence on the job
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Unsafe conditions
- Drive-related injuries
- Needle-sticks and sharp objects injuries
Violence on the Job
Sadly, violence occurs from varying levels and can cause harm to nurses, family members, patient, or even neighbors. Each home with an invalid has specific conditions which means there is no set formula on how to handle every situation. The home care nurse has to be professional, alert, and intuitive about potential violent conditions.
Today medical health professionals have to delicately ask about the presence of guns in the house, drug use, or mental disorders to properly assess the situation. Do not be offended if the questions are posed provided they are done in a professional manner.
By definition, violence refers to an act or threat of intimidation, physical violence, harassment, or other disruptive behaviors. Thus, it also covers verbal abuse which can be done by the nurse, patient, family members, or visitors.
Allergies become a persistent problem especially during allergy season. Having highly trained professionals take care of your ailing or elderly family member will be infinitely better because they are trained to spot allergic reactions before it turns into a full-blown issue.
It is important to note that some people who have never had an allergic reaction to anything can suddenly develop one. This may happen if the immune system is compromised or if one or more of the prescribed medicine is not interacting well with others.
This refers to injuries or damage to joints or tissues in the back or limbs. Well-trained healthcare professionals know when to manually carry a patient and when it is best done with assistance. This is a common injury among nurses. This should also be a cause for concern for family members as well, because a poorly trained nurse may take it upon his or herself to carry a patient and not be able to do it properly resulting in injuries to the patient.
One of the benefits of bringing a health care expert into your home is the professional approach that will be established toward care and comfort for the patient. A well-trained nurse will be able to pinpoint and address unsafe or unsanitary conditions and assist in remedying the problem.
This refers to patients who are mobile, whether able to drive a vehicle, uses a wheelchair or those who have to travel to see their doctor. Professional health workers can be available to prevent these types of injuries by:
- Conducting a safety check a day prior to a trip out
- Inspecting the access in and out of the house
- Educating family members on the proper handling of patients in transit
Needle-sticks and Injuries from Sharp Objects
This is a commonplace injury in the medical care industry and is quite simple to address: prevention through training and orientation.
- Needle-stick hazards should be pinpointed and addressed
- Correct needle types should be used always
- All family members should be informed about the used needle disposal
- Anyone who is trained to handle needles should get the proper vaccination like hepatitis B
Those most at risk for needle-stick injuries are nurses, emergency care family members, and those in charge of household maintenance.