1: HAZARDS IN THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
When it comes to physical environment it includes everything that is around the individual which include equipment, building, air, temperature. Where an individual stay, it can impact their health and wellbeing in a positive and negative way. In a health and social care setting an individual’s physically is very important. For example, poor ventilation can cause problems like increased airborne infections, influenza and even increase colds. When it comes to temperature, being too cold or too hot have their own problems. For example, being too cold can stop someone from concentrating or listen to what is being said. It can also make the individual sick and unable to retain information. Too hot can also cause individual to sleep off and lose concentration as well. In a residential care home, temperature is very important because old people tend to find it difficult to maintain their body temperature.
When air is polluted with fumes and smoke, contaminated Air, there are many chemicals in the air that are very harmful. The air should be fresh and clean for an individual to be able to breathe normally and safely Ventilation should also be considered as it can remove stale air and provide air movement. It is important that service users are far from smoke, toxic air, extra perfumes because it can affect an individual and can lead to health problems such as asthma, chest infections, respiratory illnesses etc
When talking to a service user, some might be visually impaired, and some can see normally but however lighting can affect both. When it’s too dark or too light, individuals would not be able to communicate effectively, and this can lead to missed and unclear information. It is important that when a staff is talking to a service user, the service user needs to be able to see them. For example, a staff user talking to a service user in a dark room. The communication would be provided badly as the service user would not have a clear view of what is going on around them. Lighting in room, should be right and positioned at the right place so that it can enable the service user to do their activities and enjoy themselves. Poor lighting can also cause hazards especially to the visually impaired because when an individual cannot see what is going on around them, they tend to be in danger as they have poor vision. That’s why the environment must be safe for the service users and harmful objects, equipment’s or unnecessary furniture should be put away to prevent injury.
In a residential care home. Miss Agnes who goes to oaks care home, has dementia. She is visually impaired slightly, but it is preferred for her to wear her glasses. She has a meeting with her career in her room to sort out her care plan but however Miss Agnes wants it in the garden which is next to their neighbours who are currently smoking. The weather has changed drastically as it is now cold. In Oaks care home, Mrs Agnes is currently in the social room, unfortunately a service user had poured his tea and because the floor is still wet a staff has placed a Yellow wet floor cone which is also near the way towards miss Agnes room.
First off all, the service user would have to wear her glasses as it is important she does so for her safety for example she would not barge into objects or furniture as they could be known as potential hazard which could result to her falling and slipping on the tea that was spilt. A career would have to assists Miss Agnes to her destination. The career would have to explain to Miss Agnes that the garden would not be a good idea as it is too cold, and the air is contaminated with smoke from the neighbours next door which could affect her health and concentration therefore it is better to have it in her room. As Miss Agnes has dementia it is right for the service user to help to get to her room as she might have forgot the way there.
2: HAZARDS FOR EQUIPMENT’S:
In health and social care, there are many equipment’s which are used by different professionals. These equipment’s that could cause hazards are:
• Equipment’s left untidy which can block doors and fire exits or to cause an individual to fall.
• Lack of awareness of hazards: this could be moving objects or surfaces with chemicals or harmful substances on them
• Unsafe practices: this could be unprotected wires or overloaded sockets.
• Poor maintenance: this be broken equipment’s, frayed wiring kept in unsafe places.
When it comes to equipment’s hazards, service providers need to be aware, anticipate and avoid it.
When working with equipment’s in health and social care, it is important that service providers check that they are fully working and functional. When working with equipment’s, it is important that they are checked regularly in a scheduled form and recorded. When equipment’s are found to be faulty, they should be kept away or fixed because when used, they could read false results or cause injury to health providers and users. Example of equipment’s which need to be checked could be Hoists, medical equipment’s, x- ray machines, fire and safety checks etc.
Plug and sockets should be kept away and out of sight so that no one can trip on them or even get shocked. All electrics should be checked regularly and recorded because if the equipment is not safe, it can cause harm and injuries to the individual who may use it.
Computers are one of the main equipment’s we use in health and social care. A computer can also cause harm to an individual for example being positioned too high which can cause repetitive neck and back pains. It can also be bad for sight is the light is too bright or two low.
In a residential care home. Miss Jason who goes to oaks care home, she is currently on a wheelchair would need help to get unto her bed as she has a meeting with her career. She is visually impaired slightly, but it is preferred for her to wear her glasses. She also has a side bed remote next to her with different directions. She has a meeting with her career in her room to sort out her care plan. the career is now on her way to meet Miss Jason, unfortunately a service user had poured his tea next to the tv switches which is also the way towards miss Agnes room.
Solution: in this situation, Miss Jason carer would have to check if the host works properly and safety before use so that she would not harm herself and Miss Jason. Miss Jason is slightly physically impaired so that is why it is important that she understands the remote next to her and how to use it so that she does not put herself at danger when a carer is not there to help. Now the carer is on her way to Miss Jason’s room, she needs to be aware of the spilt tea and put up a wet cone so that no one can slip. She also needs to inform other carers that the plugs are wet and should not be used now until dry to avoid shock or harm.
3: HAZARDOUS WASTE
It is important that in health and social care, staffs should follow procedures, instructions correctly so that they do not put their selves and the service users in danger. A service providers safety is also as important as a service use safety. When procedures are not taking properly, it can lead to illnesses and infections. For example, in a care home, elderly individuals are found to be more vulnerable because their immune system is not as strong as their body gets older and fighting infection could take long as the body might not be able to act fast. All individuals who wear nappies, when removed, theses nappies should be thrown away and disposed in a clinical yellow bag which destroy any micro-organisms.
In a care home, there are many medical procedures which will take place. For example, the service users taking medication through a needle or through medication. It is important that when using a syringe, that it is a new one for each patient and it is thrown away after each use and the right medication is giving to the right individual if not there is a small risk that an individual might contact Hepatitis B or even HIV.
Gloves always need to be worn, as a service provider would be meeting with blood and thrown away after use. Needles are very sharp and can cause many injuries and infections if not disposed properly. Personal hygiene should also be considered straight away for example washing hands with water and soap as service providers would be touching different things when working with many and different clients.
A care worker needs a patient their medication. The medication is however through a syringe. The care worker has two patients to cover before making breakfast for another service user.
Solution: in this situation, the care worker would have to wear her personal protective equipment’s such as a glove and bring two syringes for each patient and not using the same which could spread infections. She would also need to dispose each one she uses straight away and use another pair of gloves after washing her hands from the first patient, so she can go to the next. When making the patients food, she needs to wear a hair net and wash her hands before handling any food to stop infections and food posing
4: HAZARDS WORKING PRACTICE:
when it comes to the way a service provider deals with his or her job, that is could be their working practice. They way the provide care, handle and treat patients, prepare foods, giving injections. It is important in health and social care; rules and regulations should be followed if not it can lead to harm and risks to a service provider and service user. When handling an individual, they may slip and trip or be in an uncomfortable position. Theses mistakes can lead to strain, fractures for both service user and provider.
Also, when working in health and social care, staff should go through their sets of training on what to do, how to use equipment’s, how to identify hazards etc. they should also be aware of the potential risk and hazards so that they can avoid them and be safe
In a residential care home, mobility gets slower for the service users and they are very vulnerable as they can be injured very easily. That’s is why every service user should be handled with care and protected from any harm.
Staff should be trained when it comes to helping the service users with personal care. When preparing their food, they should also wear a hair net and wash their hands before starting any job, so infection does not spread. Staffs members should also be aware of cross contamination from different things and places. These germs can spread and can lead to food poisoning because of poor hygiene.
Jenny is a new care worker in a residential care home, she knows how to use some equipment’s from her last placement. However, she does not know how to use a host to carry the patient from their bed.
Solution: before any staff can work in a health setting, they would need training even if they have worked in health before as every organisation is different. Jenny would need to go through a training programme and a mentor by her side so that she does not put herself and the service user at risk. She should be told how to use the equipment’s carefully and safety.
5: WORKING CONDITIONS:
working conditions is seen as the way an individual works, such as the number of working hours they work, relations between other colleges, staffing levels etc. in health and social care there are many patients to attend to and this can cause a care worker to rush his or her job so that they can attend to everyone. This can also cause a care worker not to follow procedures properly which means the individual might not be treated fully and safely which can be a hazard.
In health and social care, there are different bands but however early years workers assistance pays are very low, and this can make them feel depreciated and this can be bad as the staffs may not follow procedures which are there to keep them and the service user safe
(www.NHS “workers, overpaid and under paid (2014)”) had stated that in united kingdom they were going to increase health workers pay to 1% but however the Scottish parliament had agreed in, wales agreed, but however only England refused the agreement and told health workers, they do not deserve a higher pay.
Health and social care deals with a lot of physical work and this could lead a care worker to have physical problems such as back and neck strains, numb hands etc which can lead to detrimental events. Tired staffs might not be able to concentrate properly when working many shits. This could put service users and the care worker at risk. Health can also be very emotional demanding causing a care worker to be moody, stressed and could also lead to low self esteem if they feel they are not seeing progress in their jobs.
Jacki has been giving some documented work to cover before next Monday and it Friday. That means she would have to work over weekend to complete it as it is needed urgently. This is bad because when Jacki comes back to work, she might be tired. She might find it hard to concentrate and might make mistakes in her work causing errors. On Monday when she comes back, while working in a residential care home she would have to do some lifting of the patients. Jacki might not only injure herself but as well as the patient who is under her care as Jacki would not be physically fit due to the work overload.
6: HAZARDOUS SECURITY SYSTEMS
A patient’s safety is also as important as a care workers safety. That is why in a health and social it is important that security systems are fitted in. Important doors should be locked and kept with the right individual. Windows should be open half way only, so that no individual can climb in and out.
Documents and folders should be kept out of sight and in the right hands. Personal information about service users should be kept safe and protected because it goes into the wrong hands it could outing an individual life at risk. That’s is why in health and social care, most important information and data is stored on the computer and kept safe password protected.
All care workers should learn the fire safety procedure so in case of a fire they can protect themselves and the service users. Not all service users can walk in case of a fire a plan and procedure should be made. That is why it is important to have regular fire safety checks to prepare everyone in case of a real one.
Jenny works in a residential care home and has just obtained some information about a service worker. Jenny needs to make sure that she keeps all the information to her self and whoever needs it. She should also not disclose the information to other staff’s members, family or friends.