Essential Tips for Ensuring Patient Safety

NursingJanuary 01, 2022

Nurses put patient safety front and center every day. Meeting this priority comes with the challenge of balancing the bustling environment of a hospital while addressing the needs of multiple patients. 

One of the missions of St. Paul School of Nursing is to graduate students who possess the skills and knowledge needed to have a positive impact on their communities. This includes keeping themselves and their patients safe by keeping 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;
  • 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, St. Paul’s School of Nursing can help you get started. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 822-3018 and speak to one of our career counselors.