DiscoverThe selected problem is sharp injury among the health care workers. This is indeed a critical issue, at least according to the American Nursing Association. The agency reports that sharp injuries within a healthcare facility usually expose the medical staff to bloodborne pathogens (ANA, 2016). CDC confirms the seriousness of the problem by indicating that in each particular year, about 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur in hospitals (CDC, 2016). Besides, CDC supposed that at least half of the sharp injuries are usually not reported. In addition, for the reported cases, at least 90 percent happen to medical workers including physicians, laboratory staff, and housekeepers (CDC, 2016).
Understanding sharp-related injuries among the medical staff requires one to specify the required information, processes and collaboration. Information, in this regard, refers to the people that are affected by the sharp injury problem, the potential adverse effects, and what is currently being done to maintain the challenge. In regard to the processes, it requires a person to devise a robust and resilient strategy for searching for the information identified above. Part of this strategy includes identifying the people to work with to carry out a study on the sharp injury problem, selecting the ideal nursing database, and creating the relevant keyword and phrases. Collaboration, on its part, is all about involving others in researching the problem. The essence of collaboration is to gain new insights and inferences about the nursing problem at hand.
Several recommended solutions were discussed. One of the potential restorative actions is to improve sharp safety in the surgical environments. To implement this solution, the focus ought to be on four important outcomes. Foremost, there is a need to adopt a site-specific sharp framework for the operating room. Secondly, the members of the health care staff working in the surgical setting should work hand in hand in an attempt to develop and implement sharps safety practices and standards (ANA, 2016). Thirdly, professional associations, including the American Nursing Association, along with manufacturers should take the role of encouraging the medical practitioners to use blunt needles, however, where appropriate. The ultimate concern is the need to raise the level of Bloodborne pathogens standards compliance in the surgical environment.
The second recommendation entails seeking not only to understand but also reduce the exposure risks in the non-hospital settings. To conduct this change, support for epidemiological research that reports on the risks to workers should be provided (ANA, 2016). Besides, OSHA’s focus on enforcement or the Bloodborne pathogen framework in the non-hospital environments should be increased. On top of this, it is important to ensure that sharp safety is a priority and that proper devices as well as educational and training resources are available at all times.
The third proposed solution is to enhance education and training. This solution calls for the development of standardized curricula on preventing the exposure to bloodborne pathogen and selecting and using safety-engineered equipment (ANA, 2016). In addition, the solution requires the directors of the medical facilities to provide yearly instruction related to sharp injuries on the proper utilization and disposal of safety devices to each worker that are at risk of sharp injuries. Moreover, facilitating the solution will necessitate the development of a training strategy aimed at introducing new equipment (ANA, 2016). This would assist the frontline workers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the appropriate use and disposal of the devices.
Each of the solutions identified above is key and might lead to optimal solutions for the real world problem in question. Nonetheless, the applicability of the solutions differs in terms of the extent and speed at which the desirable outcomes are achieved. Understanding and reducing exposure risks will require a change in the existing laws (OSHA). Nevertheless, instituting the change might take a long time. Part of this scenario is the idea that the policy makers might have competing views (Wilburn, 2004). Therefore, even though changes might be eventually implemented, it is apparent that the solution will not be available in the short term, yet the sharp injury problem needs an urgent resolution.
The improvement of sharps safety is ideal. However, it is not robust. As a matter of fact, it only considers the medical staff members that are working in the surgical department. Therefore, the rest of the health care workers that are at risk will not be benefited. The third solution (enhancing education and training) might be the optimum discourse. This applies in particular given that all medical staff members are accounted for. Additionally, the solution aims at imparting new knowledge on how those at risk of sharp injuries should perform to prevent the problem. Having adequate knowledge will change the way that nurses, and other medical workers, handle devices that are likely to cause sharp injuries both in the short and the long term.
As identified in the design process, it is perceptible that enhancing education and training is the most appropriate solution to implement. It is the role of the nursing leaders to prepare the nurses and other medical staff about the forthcoming education and training and the likely changes in their practice (Wilburn, 2004). Further, the communication of the solution will necessitate planning for ongoing on-job training in which a specialist oversees and instructs the medical staff on how to carry out a safe process using sharp devices. Apart from the training and education, the medical staff should be provided with the necessary resources. The idea is to consolidate the knowledge gained (Wilburn, 2004).
The sharp injury problem-solving experience has been overly beneficial to the author of this report. For instance, it was critical to allowing the need for a collaborative approach to identifying a solution to the problem at stake. Furthermore, the experience has helped the writer of this report to realize that for every problem, there are always solutions that might be applied; however, the identified solutions should be evaluated carefully. A solution that might appear as the most appropriate could, in fact, be less promising upon testing. Therefore, a problem solver should be thoughtful when evaluating the available options.
- ANA (2016). Sharps Injury Prevention. American Nursing Association. Retrieved from www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/WorkplaceSafety/Healthy-Work-Environment/SafeNeedles
- CDC (2016). Sharps Safety for Healthcare Settings. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/sharpssafety/
- Wilburn, S. (2004). Needlestick and sharps injury prevention. Online journal of issues in nursing, 9(3), 18-55.