Working in a healthcare setting can be a very stressful occupation. But in addition to dealing with patients, long hours, and staff shortages, healthcare workers also face potential hazards in the workplace from accidents caused by a lack of sharps safety.
The Role of Sharps in Healthcare Settings
Sharps refers to any medical device that is capable of puncturing the skin. Frequently, healthcare professionals refer to sharps when they are discussing needles. But scalpels and other surgical instruments also qualify, due to their potential to cut skin.
All of these types of sharps pose a potential hazard to healthcare workers. Yet, the healthcare setting cannot operate without the use of sharps. They play a vital role in keeping patients safe.
Concern Over Injuries
In 2008, the American Nurses Association surveyed over 700 nurses about sharps injuries. That survey discovered that 64% of nurses believed that injuries relating to sharps were a major concern. More than 87 percent of those nurses also stated that concerns over their safety impacted the type of nursing that they chose to practice.
Preventing Sharps Injuries
All healthcare providers are trained in the careful disposal and usage of sharps. However, every year more than 300,000 sharps injuries occur in the hospital setting alone, with similar injuries happening in nursing homes and other healthcare settings.
A growing method of preventative measures against sharps injuries involves designing better products. Many sharps tools now have protective devices installed to help prevent injuries. When available, healthcare professionals should choose these types of tools over ones that do not have additional safety measures in place.
Sharp Fluidics Operative Armour® Suture Needle Management System’s goal is to improve sharps safety, and they can be contacted.