Essential Tips for Ensuring Patient Safety

NursingMarch 31, 2022

Many graduates of the Denver College of Nursing wanted to enter the nursing profession because they had a strong desire to help others. At DCN, we help our students achieve that goal and live by our vision: “to prepare excellent health care providers and leaders to transform the lives of persons and communities through innovative education and health care.”

Excellent care requires a commitment to safety—something nurses put front and center every day. Meeting this objective, however, comes with the challenges of balancing the bustling environment of a hospital to addressing the needs of the patients themselves. To keep everyone safe, nurses must keep the following things in mind. 

Always follow universal precautions

National Patient Safety Goals are healthcare standards developed by the Joint Commission International (the independent, not-for-profit accrediting organization that is tasked with standard-setting and accrediting healthcare facilities) and are designed 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;
  • Improving the safety of high alert medications by taking extra precautions;
  • 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 or lash out, remember 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 shiftsSometimes 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, Denver College of Nursing can put you on the path to this rewarding field. Click here for more information or call us today at (800) 600-6604 and speak to one of our career counselors.