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Implementation of Safety in Nursing

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Nurses contribute immensely to patient care, and thus, they are expected to be at the forefront in ensuring the safety of those they look after. For that reason, the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses [QSEN] (2014) provides information on various competencies that guarantee the delivery of quality nursing care. Most importantly, QSEN advocates for the mastery of the expertise, particularly the skill of safety, during the pre-licensure period to make sure that the healthcare system recruits nurses that are ready to deliver their services following the expected standards. All in all, to understand the relevance of the safety competency, it is essential to summarize its main points and discuss its integration into the nursing profession, and then, analyze the way it can improve the working environment.

General Information Concerning the Safety Competency

The safety competency helps nurses to provide appropriate medical care that considers the outcomes for both patients and healthcare providers. QSEN (2014) defines this competency as a reduction of the risk of harm with regard to not only patients but also nurses. To reach this, as QSEN (2014) ascertains, the healthcare system should provide an environment that facilitates minimizing the danger of harm. Then, the healthcare providers must improve their individual performance in their working surroundings, which can contribute immensely to reducing the susceptibility to negative impact. For example, according to Richardson (2015), the development of pressure ulcers in critical patients is an indication of poor nursing care delivery that has predisposed individuals to damage. To decrease this risk, Richardson (2015) argues that nurses should continuously learn from their colleagues and acquire necessary knowledge that can influence their practice thus leading to the provision of competent care.

In addition to the definition of safety, QSEN (2014) provides the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that nurses should develop to provide efficient services. Regarding knowledge, QSEN (2014) argues that nurses should understand factors that guarantee a culture of safety. As for skills, they need to use technology appropriately and demonstrate strategies to reduce the risk of harm that can be experienced by themselves and patients. Finally, concerning the attitudes, the movement emphasizes that nurses must appreciate the limitations of human abilities and value relationships in health care that ensure the safety of patients and healthcare providers. In general, the safety competency is essential as it can improve the satisfaction of nurses and patients thus improving the healthcare system as a whole.

Importance of Integrating the Safety Competency into Nursing Care Delivery

Application of the safety competency is inevitable to ensure quality nursing care delivery because it provides necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes that nurses can apply to reduce the risk of harm. QSEN (2014) discusses the knowledge that nurses should possess and recognizes the culture of safety that involves error reporting and open communication strategies. Nurses should openly exchange information about the risks of harm and report some problems such as medication errors to ensure safe patient care. Baid and Hargreaves (2015) recognize clinical errors as dangers that can hurt the patients and hamper their recovery. Therefore, awareness of the mistakes and prompt reporting can prevent patients from harm.

Additionally, one of the most crucial skills that nurses should apply to nursing care includes documentation. QSEN (2014) ascertains that using checklists and engaging in the root cause analysis are essential skills that can guarantee quality health care despite the presence of the clinical errors. Finally, QSEN (2014) outlines that nurses should develop positive attitudes towards their roles in preventing patients and themselves from harm. Possessing safety knowledge, applying it in healthcare and valuing one’s role in reducing clinical errors can ensure proper application of the safety competency in nursing practice and improve outcomes for all the parties.

Implications of Safety Competency in Nursing Education, Practice, and Research

The safety competency can be applied to nursing education, practice, and research because it contains various explanations concerning the nursing profession in entirety.

Implications in Nursing Education

The QSEN safety competency applies to nursing education as it contains several explanations on the significance of possessing adequate knowledge to prevent patients from harm. According to QSEN (2014), it should be taught in the pre-licensure programs so that nurses have enough experience upon accreditation by the corresponding regulatory body. Additionally, receiving the knowledge continuously and advancing it can guarantee a culture of safety and a significant reduction in the risk of harm. The idea is supported by Baid and Hargreaves (2015) who argue that improvement of the qualifications ensures possession of knowledge that can decrease the levels of nurse and patient susceptibility to harm. In the process of knowledge acquisition and improvement, nurses must recognize the need to integrate their skills into practice and develop positive attitudes towards personal and patient safety. Therefore, this competency applies to nursing education in entirety since nurses should develop it during the pre-licensure period.

Implications in Nursing Practice

The safety competency has several implications in nursing practice. QSEN (2014) ascertains that nurses should be competent in using technology in their workplaces to enhance the quality of care. Additionally, the movement asserts that nurses should use appropriate communication strategies to reduce clinical errors (QSEN, 2014). It is further indicated that healthcare workers should be competent in designing improvements in the healthcare settings to guarantee personal safety and the one of patients (QSEN, 2014). Possessing these skills stems from having enough knowledge about them, while their competent application in practice requires having a positive attitude towards them. All in all, safety competency is indispensable in nursing practice as it leads to the positive outcomes for all the parties involved.

Implications in Nursing Research

Nurses must search for the novelties continuously to apply the safety skills correctly. For example, Vogus, Cooil, Sitterding, and Everett (2014) advocate for the investigation and incorporation of quality research evidence into nursing practice to ensure safety for medical workers and patients. Currently, many nurses are engaging in research as either investigators or participants. QSEN (2014) encourages nurses to embrace studies in designing improvements that can guarantee safety in the healthcare environment. Most importantly, carrying out proper research requires adequate knowledge that can serve as a baseline for the study. Therefore, possession of sufficient knowledge guarantees necessary skills and attitudes to execute the research that can enhance safety, thus implying that this competency applies to nursing research.

How the Safety Competency Can Improve the Working Environment

Nurses can apply the safety competency to improve their work environment. For instance, QSEN (2014) ascertains that nurses must participate in preventing clinical errors that can guarantee quality nursing care delivery and lead to reduced hospital stay and, thus, decrease in healthcare costs. QSEN (2014) further recognizes the importance of proper communication in enhancing patient safety. As nurses communicate efficiently and reduce clinical errors, they can improve collaborative efforts in the healthcare environment thus reducing workload in the healthcare settings. Additionally, innovative ways of preventing patients from harm as indicated by QSEN (2014) can increase patient satisfaction thus facilitating nursing care delivery. Therefore, the competency under consideration can improve the healthcare environment by leading to nurse and patient content.

Conclusion

The safety competency is essential because it focuses on ensuring that nurses not only provide quality health services but also implement various approaches that can prevent patients from harm. Therefore, medical workers are expected to acquire enough knowledge and skills during their pre-licensure period so that they can be ready to apply them upon entering the nursing practice. In so doing, they can utilize their skills appropriately in the work environment thereby facilitating patient recovery and improving health outcomes.

References

Baid, H., & Hargreaves, J. (2015). Quality and safety: Reflection on the implications for critical care nursing education. Nursing in Critical Care, 20(4), 174-182. doi: 10.1111/nicc.12182

Quality and Safety Education for Nurses. (2014). QSEN competencies. Retrieved from http://qsen.org/competencies/pre-licensure-ksas/

Richardson, A. (2015). Quality and patient safety: The bedrock for future critical care nursing. Nursing in Critical Care, 20(4), 170-171.doi: 10.1111/nicc.12189

Vogus, T. J., Cooil, B., Sitterding, M., & Everett, L. Q. (2014). Safety organizing, emotional exhaustion, and turnover in hospital nursing units. Medical Care, 52(10), 870-876. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aorn.2015.01.017