A Guide to Basic Health and Safety in a Healthcare Setting

Updated on June 16, 2021

Working in healthcare can be one of the most rewarding professions. You are able to help people and positively impact the lives of patients every single day. On the other hand, it comes with daily struggles and lots of hard work. Following the proper basic health and safety regulations means you have one less thing to worry about, and you can rest assured that you are providing the best care possible to your patients. 

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Personal Hygiene

Preventing the spread of germs and illness is vital in a healthcare setting. Even the smallest of colds could be detrimental to the wellbeing of another patient. If you suspect that you have caught something, make sure you take all the precautions to not spread it to others, which could mean taking some time off. Hand hygiene is key for infection control, and washing or sanitizing your hands on a regular basis will help reduce the spread of germs. If you cough or sneeze, catch it in a handkerchief, throw it away and wash your hands immediately. All equipment and surfaces need to be sanitized correctly or disposed of after you have used them to minimize the risk of spreading illnesses between patients and staff.

Minimizing Risks

There are many things to be aware of that can create risks within a healthcare facility. Risks can range from lifting heavy equipment, to spillages on the floor. All need to be handled promptly and with care to avoid causing injury to employees or patients. Ensure you are capable of maneuvering any heavy equipment before you begin. If you are unsure, ask someone to help you. Leaving out small objects, like needles, syringes or scissors, can pose a risk to patients and visitors. After use, make sure they are disposed of or stored correctly and safely. If any liquid is on the floor, this needs to be cleared up as soon as possible to prevent anyone slipping and injuring themselves.

Stress Reduction

In a healthcare facility, when the staff are happy, friendly, and supportive of one another, the positive energy is reflected onto the people in their care. Being in a working environment where people help each other out, and are friends outside of work too, boosts morale and ensures patients are receiving care of the highest standard. Organizing staff events is a great way to de-stress employees and build bonds that extend into the workplace. Having staff that are stressed creates a negative environment where anxiety and pressure can build, resulting in a decrease in the standard of care being received by the patients. Mental health amongst healthcare workers is a huge area to address and its inclusion into policies is vital and necessary. Talking about how you are feeling, sharing the workload across your team, and helping each other with tasks and procedures allows for the smooth running of top standard care. 

Health and safety is important in any workplace, but is even more essential within healthcare, especially where patients are involved. Being alert for potential risks, maintaining the highest standards of hygiene and creating a friendly working environment are basic steps in ensuring the workplace remains clean and safe for everyone.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.