The health care industry carries some of the most weighty responsibilities of any career field. Accidents or negligence don't just result in annoyance and a backup of paperwork. The consequences can be serious, even fatal, for the patients whose lives are in the balance. This is why health care performance and standard goals are set extremely high.
Providing Personal Care
The ultimate goal of health care is to restore wellness and health to patients. It's a lofty goal with a plethora of elements vital to its success. One of these is showing compassion for patients. Deceptively simple, this element is crucial to quality patient care. Patients may be frightened, in pain and confused about what's happening to them. Caregivers should take the time to provide explanations and answer concerns in terms patients and their families can understand. They should empathize with their patients, never being dismissive, impersonal or disinterested. They should also educate patients and their families on how to provide aftercare and how any medications should be taken.
Teamwork is Essential
Numerous people are responsible for providing patients with quality health care, from medical receptionists to specialists and everyone in between. Working in harmony with one another is important. Each shouldn't work independently but, rather, strive to be part of a team whose common goal is to support their patients' welfare. Open communication, mutual respect and a positive attitude are the elements of good teamwork. Empathy shouldn't be reserved just for patients; team members should show appreciation for what each is experiencing. Personal differences should be set aside. They have no place in health care.
Safety is Key
Health care workers are routinely exposed to danger, infectious diseases and hazardous materials. So, as a consequence, are their patients. Safety is of the utmost concern at all times and applies to every phase of health care, such as the proper handling of blood samples, disposing of waste, sterilizing medical instruments and wearing examination gloves. It also applies to wound care, surgery and administering medicine. Each team member should be intimately familiar with safety protocol and apply it at all times.
Rarely is maintaining client records as important as it is in the health care industry. Caregivers must identify each patient by at least two methods, ideally name and date of birth, to avoid such mistakes as administering the wrong medicine and treatment. Files should include medical histories that are as complete as possible, noting special conditions such as a history of seizures or allergies. Current medications a patient takes should be noted and the information shared with personnel.
- University Health System: National Patient Safety Goals
- Official New Hampshire Government Website: Teamwork in Healthcare: A Winning Strategy for Caregivers
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Quality Standards
- U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Safety and Health Topics
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