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JUDITH

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									s    Q & A




       ASK
                                                WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR RIGHTS AND ENTITLEMENTS AT WORK,
                                                NSWNA ASSISTANT GENERAL SECRETARY JUDITH KIEJDA HAS THE ANSWERS.

       JUDITH                                   THIS MONTH JUDITH EXAMINES OHS ISSUES FOR NURSES WORKING IN AN AGED
                                                CARE FACILITY.


Incident forms are kept in the DoN’s                  a large facility, one person’s absence may   committee to be elected if the facility has
office which is locked when he is                      not make much difference. But in small       more than 20 employees. Otherwise, you
absent. I have been told this is for                  facilities or on night shift when staffing    can ask for the election of an employee
security reasons and want to know if                  levels are low, it can be significant         OHS representative.
this is correct.                                  c   Are nurses working alone in isolation             The Occupational Health and Safety Act
                                                      (eg violence risk)?                          2000 and the Occupational Health and Safety
The DoN would have confidential docu-
                                                  c   Can nurses get assistance with manual        Regulation 2001 set out the requirements for
ments in the office, eg personnel files,
                                                      handling?                                    consultation on OHS and welfare at work.
so it is reasonable that the office should
                                                  c   Can tasks requiring two or more staff be     The OHS Consultation Code of Practice
be locked. However, employees must be
                                                      done in accordance with procedures?          gives further advice. The requirements are
able to report hazards and incidents. Most
                                                  c   Can nurses take breaks to rest their         too detailed to list here. You can find more
facilities use forms, some use log books.
Forms should be available to all staff at all         muscles?                                     information in the NSWNA OHS Essentials for
                                                  c   Is the workload redesigned during staff      Nurses booklet on NSWNA website www.
times so that hazards and incidents can
be reported as soon as possible. The best             shortages (eg only conducting essential      nsw.nurses.asn.au/ohs, or you can find
locations include staff rooms or nurses’              showers, leaving some residents in bed)?     the legislation and code of practice on the
stations where they are freely accessible.        c   Can residents be supervised properly?        WorkCover website www.workcover.nsw.
You should approach your management               c   Is the facility left without a RN?           gov.au. You can get a copy of our booklet
about having block incident forms avail-          c   Is resident care affected (eg medication     by telephoning the NSWNA.
able at the abovementioned locations.                 rounds, feeding, continence care)?                In summary:
                                                  c   Can emergencies be managed                   c Employers must have arrangements for
When nursing staff are absent                         (eg evacuation, violent incident)?              consulting with employees about OHS
and are not replaced, is this an                                                                      and welfare
                                                  Our committee isn’t elected and
occupational health and safety                                                                     c There are three options for consultation
                                                  doesn’t deal with staff incidents but
incident that should be recorded?                                                                     arrangements – OHS Committees; OHS
                                                  spends most of its time on resident
It can certainly be an OHS issue. Nurses                                                              Representatives; and Other Agreed
                                                  safety. Do we need to ask for an
should always report short staffing as an                                                              Arrangements. A combination of
                                                  Occupational Health and Safety                      arrangements can be used;
incident if they feel that their or resident
safety is at risk. Questions to help assess       Committee that is independent?                   c Consultation arrangements must be
the possible risk include:                        What are our rights?                                decided in consultation with
c What proportion of nurses are absent? In        You can and should ask for an OHS                   employees and/or their union/s. n




                                                                                                                         THE LAMP APRIL 2006 31
s    OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY




Working safely with sharps
g Sharps injuries can be minimised with
appropriate risk management systems




A
                ccording to statistics              Employers in the healthcare sector        of protection for nurses against exposure
                compiled by the Medical        have a legal responsibility under Clauses      to HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
                Industry Association, at       11 and 12 of the OH&S Regulation 2001 to             While sharps injuries are an
                least one in nine nurses       eliminate the hazard of sharps injuries, or,   occupational hazard for nurses that
                in NSW will suffer a           if not ‘reasonably practicable’, to control    must be carefully managed, the risk of
                sharps injury each year. A     the risk. This includes having in place an     contracting HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis
needlestick or sharps injury occurs when       efficient local system for reporting and        C through exposure to contaminated blood
the skin is punctured by a used needle,        managing potential risks of contracting        is relatively low. The risk of transmission
scalpel or other sharp instrument, putting     infectious diseases through exposure to        of an infection from a sharp injury where
nurses at risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis   blood and other body substances.               there is contamination is one in three for
B and Hepatitis C through exposure to               Following the infection control           Hepatitis B, one in 30 for Hepatitis C and
contaminated blood.                            practices at your workplace is the first line   one in 300 for HIV. n


    MINIMISE THE RISK                                               WHAT TO DO IF A
    OF INFECTION                                                    SHARPS INJURY OCCURS
There are measures that can reduce the risk of                   c Clean the contaminated site. Immediately wash the wound/site
contracting an infectious disease from exposure to                 thoroughly with soap and water.
blood and body substances                                        c If clothing is contaminated, remove the clothing and shower.
c Use safer technology such as retractable needles               c Report the incident. Notify the appropriate person at your
  and butterflies.                                                  workplace.
c Wear gloves when carrying out procedures                       c A risk assessment of the incident is essential. This will depend
  (seriously major rule!) and wash hands after
                                                                   on the nature and extent of the injury, the item that caused the
  each procedure.
                                                                   injury, and the volume of blood to which the nurse was exposed.
c All nurses who come in contact with patients/
  residents/clients should receive Hepatitis B                   c The source must be identified as quickly as possible (carefully
  vaccinations, as recommended by NSW Health and                   note where and when the injury occurred). The source needs to be
  the National Health and Medical Research Council.                asked for consent to be tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
c Comply with the safe work practices and                        c If the risk is significant, an infectious diseases specialist
  training in your workplace. Use safer equipment                  should be consulted and may recommend prophylaxis (or
  options provided by your employer.                               prophylactic treatment).
c Report all potential exposures to your employer                c Until your test results are known, practice safe sex and don’t
  using local procedures.                                          donate blood.
c Report any potential hazards or problems with
                                                                 c Contact the NSW Needlestick Injury Hotline for confidential
  equipment or procedures to your employer
                                                                   advice/counselling
  using your facility’s hazard reporting protocols.
c Sharps must not be passed by hand between
  health workers. Use a puncture-resistant tray to                24-HOUR NSW NEEDLESTICK INJURY HOTLINE
  transfer sharps.                                                The NSW Needlestick Injury Hotline is an information, referral
c Don’t bend or snap used needles.                                and support service for health care workers who receive a
c Never remove a needle from a disposable                         needlestick injury or are exposed to blood and body fluids.
  syringe or recap a used needle.                                 Funded by NSW Health, calls to the Hotline are answered by clini-
c Disposable sharps should be disposed of as                      cal consultants and medical officers who will assess the situation
  soon as possible after use. Carry a puncture-                   and provide appropriate information, advice and counselling.
  proof, sharps-approved container with you so                    The NSW Needlestick Injury Hotline operates as an adjunct
  you can immediately depose of used sharps.                      to existing management systems at local workplaces. It does
c Place non-disposable sharps into a clearly labelled             not replace local management of occupational exposures.
  and puncture-proof, sharps-approved container.
                                                                  NSW Needlestick Injury Hotline: 1800 804 823
32 THE LAMP APRIL 2006
SHARPS SAFER WITH
NSW HEALTH PROJECT

A
          ‘Sharps Safety’ project has been established
          by NSW Health to develop a policy
          framework to minimise and, where possible,
          eliminate risks associated with sharps use in
NSW public healthcare organisations (PHOs).
     The NSWNA is a member of the multi-
disciplinary reference group set up to inform and
steer the two-year project.
     NSWNA OHS Officer, Trish Butrej, said:
‘The Sharps Safety Project has the potential to
improve nurses’ health and safety and further evolve
nursing practice.’
     Data collected by NSW Health since 2003
reveals the range of parenteral exposures reported
is 673–1056, and the range of non-parenteral
exposures is 260–457.
     The first stages of the project include a review
of the processes relating to the procurement of
consumable clinical items including safety engineered
medical devices and a survey of health workers who
use sharps in the workplace to examine local resources
and procedures for preventing and managing body
substance exposures and sharps injuries.
     For further information on the Sharps Safety
Project, contact Project Manager Mark Friedewald
on 02 4320 2132.

                                     THE LAMP APRIL 2006 33
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   38 THE LAMP APRIL 2006
                 OR 1300 367 962 (NON-METROPOLITAN AREA) OR GO TO www.nswnurses.asn.au
s    L I F E S T Y L E




Book me
Saunders Nursing Survival                         approaches and in different organisational       individuals, families and communities. It
Guide: Drug Calculations and                      contexts, and how to understand different        presents health data and related theories
                                                  dimensions of personal and organisational        and skills that are needed to understand
Drug Administration                               change and its ethical components.               and practice when providing care and fo-
                      by Cynthia Chernecky,                                                        cuses on primary prevention intervention.
                      Mother Helena Infortuna     Mosby’s Essentials for
                      and Denise Macklin,         Nursing Assistants                               Practical Aspects of
                      SAUNDERS,
                                                                        by Shiela Sorrentino and
                                                                                                   Nutritional Support:
                      RRP $62.70                                                                   An Advance Practice Guide
                      ISBN 1416028773                                   Bernie Gorek, Elsevier
                                                                        Mosby Publications,                               by Patricia H.
                      This survival tool                                RRP $73.70                                        Worthington,
                      clearly explains the                              ISBN 0323039049                                   SAUNDERS,
complexities of drug calculations, oral,                                                                                  RRP $39.95
intramuscular, topical, and intravenous                                 The 3rd edition of
                                                                                                                          ISBN 0721669646
drug administration. It also includes                                   Mosby’s Essentials for
                                                                        Nursing Assistants is                             Practical Aspects of
special topics such as paediatric adminis-
                                                                        designed to prepare                               Nutritional Support is
tration, advanced care and technology and
                                                  students to function as nursing assistants                              designed to fill the
features interactive NCLEX-style review
                                                  in hospitals and nursing centres. A new                                 need for primary
questions and Medication Safety Errors in
                                                  feature on safety and comfort is intended                               care and clinical
outer margins.
                                                  to focus the student’s attention on the                                 nutrition informa-
Achieving Evidence-Based                          need to be safe and cautious and to pro-         tion that is necessary in today’s market.
Practice: A Handbook                              mote comfort when giving care. There             This reference addresses fundamentals
                                                  are also chapters that focus on workplace        of nutritional care including nutritional
for Practitioners                                                                                  assessment, identifying risk factors, deter-
                                                  behaviours and practices.
                       edited by Susan Hamer                                                       mining nutrient requirements and select-
                       and Gill Collinson,        Health Promotion Throughout                      ing appropriate intervention. Life cycle
                       foreword by JA Muir                                                         nutrition, functional elements of nutrition
                       Gray, Bailliere Tindall,   the Life Span
                                                                                                   support, pharmacological considerations,
                       RRP $69.95                                      by Carole Edelman           trends in nutritional care, and nutritional
                       ISBN 0702027766                                 and Carol Lynn              considerations in specific disease states are
                       This book provides                              Mandle, Elsevier            also covered.n
                       a practical introduc-                           Mosby Publications,
                       tion to and overview                            RRP $100.10                  CORRECTION
                       of the development                              ISBN 0323031285              An incorrect price was quoted in
and implementation of evidence-based                                   This comprehensive           the March Lamp ‘Book Me’ for the
practice. It focuses on how to look for                                text addresses health        Mosby’s 2006 Drug Consult for
and appraise the available evidence, how                               promotion for all            Nurses. The RRP was quoted as
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                                                                             WHERE TO GET
                                                                             APRIL NEW RELEASES
                                                                             These books are all available on order through the
                                                                             publisher or your local bookshop. Members of the
                                                                             NSWNA can borrow any of these books and more from
                                                                             our Records and Information Centre.
                                                                             For borrowing information, contact Jeannette Bromfield,
                                                                             8595 2175, jbromfield@nswnurses.asn.au
                                                                             or Cathy Matias, 8595 2121, cmatias@nswnurses.asn.au


                                                                                                                          THE LAMP APRIL 2006 39
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s
       CRoSSWoRD
Test your knowledge with The Lamp crossword, this month with a focus on anatomy.
1                2                3                  4         5               6                       7




8

                                                               9                                              10

11                                         12

                                                               13                              14

15                                16                 17




                                                     18                19

20

                                                               21              22

23       24

                                                     25

                          26

27                                                             28


s ACROSS                                                  s DOWN
1.    Skull (7)                                           1.    A major vessel in the arm (8,4)
5.    Mineral essential for healthy bones (7)             2.    An infection in the skin (7)
8.    The dorsal surface (9)                              3.    Obstruction of the intestines (5)
9.    Illustration, graph (7)                             4.    Paralyses, injures (5)
11.   Freedom or prevention from infection (7)            5.    Relating to the heart (7)
13.   Areas of pigment around the nipples (7)             6.    Bands of fibrous tissue connecting bones (9)
15.   Person who has trouble sleeping (9)                 7.    A bone of the forearm (4)
18.   Instrument usually used in the bowel (9)            10. Abuse, neglect (12)
20.   Feeling (7)                                         12. Charge particle (3)
22.   Small, brief (5)                                    14. To remove a part of the brain (10)
23.   Relating to the nose (5)                            16. Jaw bone (8)
25.   Fibrous tissue often found in the thighs (9)        17. Monozygotic twins are this (9)
26.   Orange gland located above the kidney (7)           19. Occupational therapist, abbrev (1.1)
28.   Illness, sickness (7)                               21. Hair-like structures found in the lungs (5)
                                                          22. The skeleton of the head (5)
                                                          24. Substance with a pH less than 7 (4)
                                                          27. Accident and emergency, abbrev (1.1)
                                                          Solution page 47

                                                                                                                   THE LAMP APRIL 2006 41

								
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