Dawn Mangine

    Pocket Nurse® and SimTalk™ Blog believe the solution to better patient outcomes is better education and a culture of patient safety. Our work supports healthcare education and simulation in order to reduce medical errors. We take our responsibility to future healthcare professionals and patients seriously.

    As Patient Safety Awareness Week winds down, here is a look at three ways Pocket Nurse pledges to commit to the safety of future healthcare professionals and patients.

    Sharps Safety

    In the United States, it is estimated that nearly 1,000 needlestick or sharps injuries happen to healthcare workers every day. Any injury with a contaminated sharp carries the risk of bloodborne infection, including Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Sharps injuries add up, to the tune of $1 billion in unnecessary costs for the healthcare industries.

    Three ways to prevent sharps injuries are to eliminate the unnecessary use of needles, use sharps with safety features, and promote education and safe workplace practices for handling needles and related systems. Educate students on how to best avoid needlesticks, including taking the following steps.

    • Using needles with safety features, such as shields that cover the entire cannula when engaged after use
    • Avoid recapping non-safety needles
    • Make a plan to dispose a sharp before use – for example, locate the sharps container in the room prior to giving an injection
    • Promptly disposing of used sharps in the appropriate and conveniently located sharps containers

    Sharps collectors and containers are usually made with hard plastic that is designed to prevent punctures and leaks. They are usually red, with features that prevent overfilling and keep people from reaching into them. Once full, sharps containers are properly disposed of at a waste management facility that specializes in medical and biohazard equipment.

    Demo Dose® Simulated Medications

    Simulated medication and IV fluids are two cornerstones of educating students safely, yet at the same time, very effectively. Demo Dose packaging and labeling are realistic, helping students identify the proper medication for treatment. With more than 400 vials, ampules, oral medications, IV fluids, and simulated blood and plasma products, educators can create realistic scenarios such as:

    • Transfusion and trauma
    • Medication management
    • Injection and IV starts
    • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
    • Pharmacy skills like compounding and pill counting

    Whether it’s time to restock or you’re new to simulation medication, our Demo Dose catalog is the comprehensive guide to all things in this extensive family of product solutions. Request access to the brand new product catalog now!

    Download the 2021-22 Demo Dose Product Catalog

    Infection Control

    The basics of infection control for healthcare professionals starts in the classroom. Educating students and current healthcare providers through simulation education is one key to reducing the spread of infections. Strong habits regarding hand hygiene and proper wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE), solid infection control protocols, and patient prep prior to procedures and hand-on diagnostic contact contribute to patient safety. Some steps to teach in the simulation lab include:

    • Hand hygiene: Thorough hand-washing and proper use of hand sanitizer
    • Environmental hygiene: Disinfecting surfaces where germs can thrive
    • Proper order and fit for PPE, from face masks and shields, to gowns and gloves
    • Surveillance: Data collection regarding infection patterns and regular assessment of infection prevention protocols
    • Care coordination: A breakdown in communication can lead to overlooking processes and uncertainty in who did what to treat a patient

    As the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) puts it, “Preventing harm in healthcare settings is a public health concern.” All of us interact with the healthcare system at some point in our lives, from routine medical care to emergency situations requiring medical interventions. Pocket Nurse stands with the IHI in improving patient safety through simulation education, and improving education outcomes by providing the leading simulation and medical supply solutions.

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