Expanding the View of Workplace Safety

Posted on June 21, 2017

In healthcare, physical safety is crucial to the well-being of every single person that enters the doors of a facility. Strict protocols and procedures must be adhered to on a daily basis and team members need to be cognizant of workplace safety rules to help prevent injuries and reduce the spread of hospital acquired infections. That’s why it is essential for facilities to continually reexamine safety protocols, check and confirm the compliance of procedures, and frequently hold team meetings regarding safety measures.  

In addition to keeping a safe physical work environment, another aspect of safety that is very pivotal to the health and happiness of everyone involved is emotional safety.  By incorporating best practices that include both physical and emotional safety, healthcare facilities can cultivate a safe healing environment for patients, and also an atmosphere of support for team members.

When it comes to creating a secure environment of emotional and physical patient safety, everyone from the nurses to culinary and EVS teams play an integral role.  Whether it is providing exceptional cleans, making the room comfortable, providing healthy food that promotes healing, or lending an empathetic ear, it’s essential for everyone involved to be aware of the patient’s needs.  The interactions with patients and guests can be crucial. Simply being in the moment and expressing compassion can improve upon the emotional environment and general patient experience during an already trying time.  To develop and improve both types of safety, facilities can incorporate regular trainings that focus on fostering empathy and communication best practices, as well as promoting safety exercises to help create a secure, well-rounded environment.

Moreover, it’s also essential for managers and team members to apply those same emotional and physical safety tips for themselves.  Working in a constantly changing and challenging environment can sometimes be overwhelming.  If an employee is sleep deprived or stressed, it can be detrimental to not only patient safety, but to their own safety as well.  Implementing regular breaks into work routines and taking time to process the day can help reduce work strain and improve overall safety within the facility.  Hospitals can also include trainings and best practice support strategies for team members to enhance upon their own emotional well-being.  A simple tip facilities can adopt is encouraging team members to voice struggles and concerns, so any frustration can be addressed and handled appropriately before it takes an emotional toll on an individual.  Including these types of practices can help improve the overall team morale, which can reflect positively on work performance and patient interaction.

Together with the proper workplace safety protocols and training, healthcare facilities can create an environment that is both physically and emotionally safe for everyone.


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