As home health care continues to increase, more healthcare professionals such as nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, aides, speech therapists, and social workers are employed in this industry. While there are benefits of home health care for the professionals (in terms of income and opportunities) and the patients, there are risks to the safety and health of these workers. This is because the health care workers do not have much control over their workplace environments because it is the patients’ homes. That said, while they may be exposed to a number of risks, they can be avoided by taking proper measures. Here’s a home health care worker safety checklist to ensure you stay safe on the job.
If a home health care patient does not require care and support at all times of the day, it can be beneficial to set up a remote check-up system with patients to monitor their health. Home health care workers can provide patients with wearable technology that can monitor patients’ respiratory and cardiac functions with ease. Furthermore, setting up remote cameras can allow the home health care professional to monitor patients visually without needing to physically visit their homes. As a result, the chances of contracting infections and other diseases can be reduced significantly. Physical check-ups can be reduced to a need-basis only.
Home health care workers that are required to physically carry and transfer patients must know the proper technique to do so to prevent injury to themselves. Strains, sprains, and different types of musculoskeletal injuries are common among home health care workers. Use any assertive device or transfer system the patient may have for lifting and transporting. Moreover, you can also consult your agency to provide a buddy system for this process.
One of the most effective ways home health care workers can keep themselves safe is by wearing appropriate protective clothing. You should wear disposable non-latex gloves every time you visit a patient. Non-latex can help prevent latex allergies. Also, it’s best to use hand sanitizer to keep yourself clear from potential infections and other biological hazards.
You should also wear disposable overalls whenever you go to work. In many cases, patients’ homes can be unsanitary, and disposable wear will ensure you don’t carry any biological hazards back home with you. In addition to wearing protective clothing, you should carry clean pads that have clean plastic on one of the sides. You should place all of your equipment on top of that plastic side to keep it from making contact with the surface of the patient’s home.
Having a home health care worker safety checklist is necessary to keep yourself from getting sick or injured on the job. Moreover, it’s essential that home health care aides come up with coping strategies for dealing with the stress expected on the job. It will help keep you healthy in the long term.