Moving a patient from a bed to a stretcher can pose huge safety risks to both the patient and to the health care workers completing the transfer. Always use the appropriate amount of people to complete a transfer, which may vary according to the patient’s weight and/or the facility’s policy. In some cases, a mechanical lift may be needed.
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Stool specimens are collected to test for a variety of disorders from colon cancer to parasites. While it is not the most pleasant job, it is important that the collection is done correctly for accurate results.
The Heimlich Maneuver, also known as abdominal thrusts, is used to remove an object that is blocking a resident’s airway and preventing air from reaching the lungs. It only takes four to six minutes for brain damage to occur from lack of oxygen, so prompt action is vital.
Personal protective equipment is worn to protect the mouth, nose, eyes, clothing, and skin from unwanted pathogens. In the health care setting, a patient’s condition often prompts the use of personal protective equipment; however, a health care worker is able to wear personal protective equipment whenever he or she deems it is necessary (e.g., during procedures with the potential for excessive contact with bodily fluids).
It is important to follow the correct procedure while removing personal protective equipment to avoid contaminating your skin or clothing. The most common source of contamination in this process stems from improper removal of gloves. Gloves are often the most soiled piece of equipment. To avoid contaminating your skin or the other equipment worn, gloves should always be removed first. Then remove the goggles, gown, and mask, in that order.
Perineal care should be performed during a bath, after using the bedpan, and/or after incontinence. Special care should be used when performing perineal care on an uncircumcised male. Failure to retract and wash the area under the foreskin can result in infection. Failure to return the foreskin to its normal position can result in paraphimosis.
Condom catheters are used for men who are incontinent. These catheters are external and are meant to be used short-term and changed daily.
Indwelling catheters allow urine to drain from the bladder. They are used when residents are unable to urinate on their own or when the process of cleaning the resident after urination would be difficult for the resident to tolerate (such as during end of life care). Caring for the catheter appropriately is a vital part of preventing infection and skin breakdown.
Accurate measurement of urination (aka, the output portion of intake and output) allows medical personnel to assess kidney and bladder function. Changes in output quantity or quality can reflect health status changes including new-onset infection or renal injury.
Restraints have very strict guidelines for use due to the number of complications that can result. Use of restraints is associated with increased physical and psychosocial health issues. Restraints are only considered necessary when restraint-free alternatives have failed and the patient or others are at risk of harm without the restraints. It is illegal to use restraints for the staff’s convenience or to punish the patient.