Medical professionals are exposed to a number of diseases in their workplace every day. Be it in the hospital, clinic, home, or any other outpatient facility, health workers face many situations that can introduce infectious or contagious diseases to their system, all in addition to a number of physical and psychological stresses brought about by working with people who are suffering from disease or injury.
This is why professional development is important for medical professionals of all types, as the more experience and knowledge these workers have, the easier it becomes to deal with difficult situations. Joining a professional advocacy organization is a good example, as it allows nurses to take an active role in making the workplace safer.
Developing the necessary leadership qualities is also important before embarking on a career in nursing. This development ensures that these health professionals are not only able to deal with any situation that comes their way, but can assist others as they deal with the stress associated with working in this field. Knowing how to cope psychologically gives these nurses the ability to stand out amongst their peers and to provide assistance to others as they deal with these issues.
Obtaining some sort of advanced certification or an advanced degree can also be a priority, as this expands the knowledge base and helps these nurses to improve the quality standards within their place of employment. There are about 60 different areas of specialization that nurses can explore, each of which ensures that they not only stand out on the job, but also make the environment safer for patients.
In addition, to make sure that doctors and nurses can enjoy productivity uninterrupted by sick days, they can do the following:
- Employ good technique when washing hands on a regular basis. Even for non-medical professionals, the first step to reduce the risk of getting contagious diseases is by regularly washing one’s hands. This is especially true for nurses and caregivers who are working in homes and assisted living facilities that sometimes employ poor hygienic protocols. A good number of common diseases, such as influenza, colds, salmonella, and diarrhea, can be avoided this way.
- Make use of syringes with safety features. Aside from hand contact, one of the most common ways health professionals are infected is by needle injuries. Needle injuries can introduce diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitic C to the human body. Needle injury is also an avenue for Hepatitis B, a potentially deadly condition and one of the most prevalent work-related disease in the US. To avoid these diseases, nurses, doctors, and healthcare facility administrators can shift from the traditional syringe design to those with safety features such as caps and retractable needles. Hospital administrators should also dedicate a space for safe sharps storage.
- Make full use of the prescribed protective clothing. Protective clothing such as gowns, gloves, masks, and eyewear also lessen one’s risk of getting in contact with pathogens. In addition, these clothes also offer some protection from non-biological hazards in the workplace, such as fumes from harmful cleaning chemicals and unhealthy byproducts of procedures that make use of lasers. However, care must be taken in order to avoid chronic dermatitis, a condition brought about by constant exposure to latex, the main material used for gloves and a number of other medical supplies.