Nurses’ safety is crucial to ensure quality patient care, say experts

Work practices such as administration of injections, blood sampling, needle recapping and disposal, treatment of trash, are some activities responsible for needlestick injuries and infections

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New Delhi: With the theme of this year’s International Nurses Day being ‘Health is a Human Right’, industry experts came together to highlight the importance of nurses’ safety in healthcare. They argued that nurses act as the foundation in any healthcare setting and are critical to the delivery of quality care and improved patient outcomes. This means that the health and safety of nurses are directly related to the health of the patients.

To encourage the need for creating a safety environment for nurses, Becton Dickinson India (BD) is driving a nation-wide campaign on International Nurses Day, to enhance awareness regarding healthcare workers safety. The campaign is being driven in 60 hospitals across the country and is engaging around 5000 healthcare professionals. The organisation is also felicitating 400 nursing heads, to acknowledge their contribution and efforts.

Capt. Sandhya Shankar, Director-Nursing, Medanta, The Medicity said, “Nurses are at the frontier of our healthcare system as they are the primary caregivers. Unfortunately, they are exposed to various occupational hazards like accidental needlestick injury, exposure to chemicals and radioactive substances, stress and more which results in effecting their health status. Thus, it is essential that they undertake regular training and skill upgrade programs which will safeguard them and result in better quality for patient care. We are pleased to observe International Nurses’ Day in association with BD this year.”

Ms Jyoti Gosain, Nursing Superintendent, Venkateshwara Hospital remarked, “Nurses are like the heroes who never stop caring for patients. International Nurses’ Day is the perfect occasion when we can acknowledge their commitment and their vital contributions in any healthcare setting. I believe the safety of nurses should be considered high priority and it is important to identify the hazards that they might face, assess the various risks and come up with measures in order to avoid potential dangers. It has to be remembered that we, as healthcare professionals, will only be able to provide quality care to our patients when we create a healthy and safe environment for our nurses.”

Of all the potential hazards, nurses are most vulnerable to needlestick injuries. Injuries from infected syringes and other sharp instruments are known to cause more than 20 different blood borne pathogens. According to a report published in 2016, nursing staff incur the highest number of needlestick injuries.

Work practices such as administration of injections, blood sampling, needle recapping and disposal, treatment of trash, are some activities responsible for needlestick injuries and infections.

Pavan Mocherla, Managing Director – BD – India & South Asia said, “Backed by more than 120 years of tradition and heritage, BD brings an unrivaled expertise in manufacturing high quality safety-engineered medical devices to enhance healthcare worker safety. We are privileged to be a part of the industry that offers the most comprehensive portfolio of solutions in injection, sample collection, infusion therapy, surgery and disposal. On International Nurses Day, we are encouraged by our purpose of advancing the world of health and commit to equip healthcare workers with the technologies that help prevent infections while delivering quality patient care.”

Col. Binu Sharma (President, Infusion Nurses Society, India) mentioned, “Highly qualified and competent professionals play an important role in delivering quality and safe patient care. Since 2010, INS India has aimed to bring innovative resources and opportunities to a wide range of healthcare professionals who are involved with the practice of infusion therapy. On International Nurses Day, it is reassuring to see that our work is upholding standards of practice and quality education programs to protect patients and healthcare workers from the risks associated with unnecessary and unsafe injections practices.”

Thus, emphasising and ensuring the safety of the present and future nursing workforce is a significant factor for the future of the entire healthcare industry.

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