Chapter 22 – Driving Safety For Home Health Nurses

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The need for in-home care is increasing, thanks to a booming aging population and fear of contagion. Many people also want to age in place, and that means home health nurses are in high demand. However, home visiting nurses pose a significant risk to themselves by entering patients’ homes, so they must be particularly vigilant about hand and shoe hygiene, and drive carefully. There are many ways that a nurse can ensure driving safety for home health nurses.

Workplace violence

Home health nurses may be exposed to various types of workplace violence. Workplace violence is an issue that can overwhelm their coping abilities. A prolonged period of stress can adversely affect health. The results of several studies have shown that workplace violence may lead to poorer mental and physical health outcomes. In addition, it may affect interpersonal interactions between the home care worker and consumer-employer. Ultimately, these conditions may impact the quality of care.

Musculoskeletal injuries

Drivers who are home health nurses are especially at risk for musculoskeletal disorders. The risk for musculoskeletal injuries is particularly high among new drivers who are not used to driving in heavy traffic. This problem is particularly troubling in the context of a nursing shortage, where an aging workforce is depleting the nursing workforce and retention rates are falling.

Despite this, it is still essential to follow the laws regarding the safe driving practices of home health nurses. The law requires home health nurses to follow strict traffic safety regulations. Moreover, home health nurses should also wear seat belts that offer a firm support. Musculoskeletal injuries while driving for home health nurses may result in a car accident. Therefore, home health nurses should avoid driving while undergoing anything that may distract them from the road.

The American Nurses Association’s position statement on musculoskeletal disorders is a call to action to prevent these conditions. In addition to calling for safe driving practices, the statement also calls for a health care industrywide effort to prevent work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Nursing positions are prone to these musculoskeletal disorders. Hence, the ANA urges nurses to make sure they are properly trained.

Neighborhood assessment

Nurses who deliver home health care services should use an effective risk assessment tool when making patient visits. The tool uses a scoring system to determine crime and hazard areas. It is a useful tool to monitor crime rates and number of police calls. Another tool for risk assessment is a windshield survey. Staff should be able to recognize the difference between typical activity and something out of the ordinary. A team of security professionals from VNSNY will contact the precinct to confirm that the activity is unusual.

Emergency preparedness

The best way to ensure your business is prepared for any foreseeable event is to have a disaster plan. Developing this plan can help you ensure you can provide the best possible care to the victims of disasters. It also helps to develop a hazard vulnerability analysis and comprehensive emergency planning to ensure that everything is handled smoothly. By implementing these steps, you can ensure that your home health care business is prepared for any unforeseen event.

Disasters are becoming a tough teacher. Each one of them allows us to learn from previous disasters and integrate them into our practice. For example, during the devastating fires in Fort McMurray, nurses were called to help burn victims and high-risk patients. These events have resulted in a review of the disaster response process. This review will include the steps home health nurses can take to ensure patient safety during an emergency.

To comply with emergency preparedness requirements, home health nurses must develop a plan for their clients. This plan will include emergency supplies and a plan for dealing with disasters. To ensure you’re prepared, you can access templates and guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. You can also use the guidelines from Wisconsin Department of Health Services to develop an emergency preparedness plan. And don’t forget to follow all of the safety recommendations in the plan!

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