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A Culture of Safety - Essay Example

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Human error, especially in the medical field, can have serious consequences to the patient, hospital employee and the hospital as a whole. The traditional approach to errors in such a setting focused on punitive measures often aimed at the employee…
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A Culture of Safety
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Download file to see previous pages However, as management models have continued to evolve, people have recognized that an error can only be prevented if it is known. This is the basis of the just culture in nursing, which acts as a bridge between the traditional approach and a situation in which no one bears the responsibility of errors. The just culture enables an organization as well as its employees to learn from mistakes and create a system that minimizes chances of error. This paper explores the just culture in a nursing setting and its impact on the safety of the patients. The Role of the Nurse in identifying Potential and Real Threats Patient safety is the core mission of every healthcare institution. Nurses have a role in ensuring that the patients in a hospital setting are catered to adequately to ensure their safety. They are obligated to identify, whenever possible, the risks that patients face while in the health institution. One way of identifying threats against the health of a patient would be to open the communication channels in the hospital. This would enable a nurse to report to the administration about a threat to the safety of the patients. Previously, the punitive system in such a setting inhibited such reporting and nurses only identified threats which they would not be able to hide. The just culture enables a nurse to identify a risk which may have occurred due to an error and report the threat in the appropriate manner. This increases patient safety as adequate measures can be taken to remedy the situation. This role of the nurse is, therefore, in line with the just culture as proposed by Reason (American Nurses Association, 2010). Steps in Minimizing or Eliminating Threats Rules and Regulations Following instructions that are set by the organization should be a priority for all nurses. Managers, according to Lazarus (2011), must put systems in place that will enable the nurses to carry out their roles in the institution effectively. These systems are part of the rules that are set by the nursing leadership to provide maximum efficacy at the work place. Nurses should therefore adhere to these set rules and regulations, in order to minimize the chances of errors happening at the work place. Most of the systems in place are tested and tried, meaning they have been found to reduce the number of errors that people can make at the work place. Although human errors do occur, a continuous improvement of the system, as proposed in the just culture will lead to the system achieving maximum efficiency. Acting with regard to these rules will minimize or even eliminate the chances of error. Nurses should only act contrary to these rules when there is evidence that acting according to them presents a threat to the patient (Lazarus, 2011). Attending Seminars Seminars and other meetings organized by the institution to sensitize employees in patient safety are a valuable resource to nurses. Policies that are proposed and passed during these meeting have an effect on the performance of the nurses, and it is therefore important that nurses attend these meetings. This way, they will be conversant with the rules and regulations, as well as contribute to the development of these policies such that the rules will also be in favor of the nurses. Patient safety can be maximized through such meetings since the stakeholders agree on the most effective means of achieving that goal. Nurses mostly deal with patients directly and are obligated to ensure the safety of the patient. By attending these seminars, they increase their knowledge and learn how to incorporate the new policies with their expertise. This is an important aspect for the safety of the patient and nurses should take this measure to minimize threats to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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