Every year since 1996, the National Safety Council (NSC) has helped Americans celebrate National Safety Month in June. It was initially started as a program to increase the awareness of the leading safety and health risks while decreasing the leading causes of unintentional injury and death in the workplace, on the road and in homes in the United States. In past years, they have spotlighted different topics each week, including ergonomics, distracted driving and first aid. This year is different. Safety is at the foremost of almost everyone’s mind. The NSC knows this and is planning to provide increased information about safe habits, relevant resources for workers and even topics on mental health.
Safety is not a new concept in the health care field. It is one of the first things nurses monitor. For example, a home health nurse would examine a patient’s safety on many levels. The nurse would evaluate the situation by asking several questions. Is the immediate environment safe? Could the patient trip on a rug if they got up? Is this patient mentally cognizant enough to continue living alone? Is this patient safe in their neighborhood? Can medications safely be delivered to the patient’s house?
As a nurse leader, safety can envelop even more areas. Did the staff receive proper safety training? Have all of the incident reports been accounted for? Are all of the safety metrics correct? No matter what, patient and staff safety should always be a nursing leader’s main concern. Patients and other health care colleagues are the reasons we teach and monitor safety so closely.
There seems to have been an increase in utilizing nurses in risk management, quality control, and safety officer positions over the past several years. Nurses know the safety risks in both inpatient and outpatient care as the ones monitoring for patient safety. Health care professionals understand that patients are the priority, and they will always advocate for them. National Safety Month is a great reminder to focus on increasing safe activities at home and in the workplace. Those in health care already are focused on safety year-round.
Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has developed its new MSN in Health Care Quality and Patient Safety with passionate students in mind. This program was developed using the QSEN competencies to help nurses build their critical thinking, communication, leadership, quality improvement, project management, and patient safety skills. If you have already earned your MSN or are considering earning another degree, GCU is offering a Post-Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality and Patient Safety. This four-course certificate allows you to enhance your knowledge and hone your skills so that you can make a positive impact when it comes to care quality and patient safety in the health care environment. To learn more about our college, visit our website or click on the Request Information button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.