Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Being safe with and around your medical equipment

Either because you need it at home of because you use it at work, using medical equipment requires your full undivided attention. You need to make sure that anyone who uses it is safe, be that a patient, nurse, technician, assistants, among others.
Manufacturers will usually provide a user’s manual, but you may find that talking to other users will help you too.
It’s mostly about common sense, but even so, there are things you need to make sure you pay extra attention to:

Before the use
This is something that will be used by or for a patient, so before you even start. You need to make sure that everything is running smoothly. No wires or screws can be loose, check the cords and the connections for tears or damage. See if the packaging on things like syringes or oxygen masks looks discolored or if it has cracks.

Electrical devices or equipments that need plugging have to be checked thoroughly. Cords and sockets should not be exposed to extreme heat or moisture. Also, long cords should be kept tucked in order to prevent any accidents or falls.

Running the machine
Learning how to use medical equipment is not only about reading a user’s manual, you can also ask experts if you have any doubts. Also, part of the process is knowing how to work it but in addition, being able to tell if the equipment is not operating well and knowing what to do.
Every device has to be maneuvered by somebody licensed and authorized.

Scrubbing down and throwing things away
No matter if the equipment is in a hospital or in the privacy of a home, it is still used for medical purposes and it should be sterilized properly. There are guidelines and proper universal precautions to follow. The basics are the use of sterile gowns, gloves and masks, depending on the scenario.
The tools that used over and over need to be sterilized to destroy any remaining bacteria, even before placing them in chlorine dioxide gas atmosphere chambers. Surfaces have to be cleaned and wiped before and after each use.
As far as biological samples (such as blood, urine), used needles and syringes and tubes need to be thrown into a biohazard bin or container. If these samples came from patients with communicable diseases, there needs to be extra care for this matter.

Surrounding dangers
After you checked the actual instrument prior to use, you need to check the surroundings. Is the oxygen tabk going to be around someone that smokes? Are there children around? You may be handling equipment that can be harmful should a child go near it. Does the nurse know how to properly operate the devices?

You can never be too careful, especially when it comes to treating patients. This will become a part of you and you won’t even have to think about it after a while. You’ll be able to determine the safest way to proceed.

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