Sharps Safety & Mindfulness
When the topic of sharps injuries comes to mind, you may believe that it will never happen to you. Unfortunately, sharps injuries are more common than you think and can happen to even the most experienced nurses. Nationwide, nurses account for the most sharps injuries within hospital systems. It’s no wonder, as most injuries occur at the bedside!
One must remember that fatal infections can be transmitted through contaminated sharps, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Considering this, it is important that the nurse stay mindful and present whenever a sharps device is in hand. This is even more important now, as we treat COVID-19 patients at the bedside.
Whenever you are handling sharps, be mindful of:
- The procedure and how to use the sharps device. If you feel you are even slightly unfamiliar with either and need additional guidance, seek out the clinical educator on the unit so that you may learn how to perform the procedure correctly, safely, and according to policy.
- The people around you. Make sure they know you are handling a sharps device, and remind them of the potential dangers of sharps injuries. This includes the patient as well!
- Sharps container location. The sharps container should be within the patient room. Knowing the sharps container location allows you to dispose of the device immediately after safety activation.
Stay safe, everyone!