Safety In The Community
Take the following precautions before visiting a patient’s home:
- Wear a name badge or something that clearly identifies you as a member of the medical community.
- Call the patient’s home in advance of your first visit. Confirm directions to the residence.
- Always have change in your pocket for a phone call; do not carry a purse; lock it in the trunk of your car.
Precautions When Traveling
- Keep your car in good working order and with a full tank of fuel. Obtain an automobile club membership for assistance with car problems.
- Consider using a personal cellular phone to maximize communication and personal safety.
- Store a blanket in your car in the winter.
- If your car fails, turn on emergency flashers, contact the police. Do not accept rides from strangers. If you can, contact Home Health Specialists. If we can assist you, we will.
- Keep your car locked when it is parked and when you are driving. Keep the windows rolled up if possible.
- Park in full view of the patient’s residence. (Avoid parking in alleys or deserted side streets.)
In The Home Environment
- Use common walkways in building. Avoid isolated stairs or darkened, unlit areas.
- Always knock on the door before entering a patient’s home.
**When you are scheduled, notify Home Health Specialists clinical manager of car trouble, auto accident or other incident for further instructions when personal safety is in question.
*Never go into or stay in a home if you feel your personal safety is in question. Always respect and listen to your gut feelings.
- Routinely check the condition of equipment, electrical cords, and outlets.
- Whenever possible, use equipment that is grounded.
- Do not use outlets that are cracked, show burn marks, or do not hold plugs securely.
- Do not use any plug with bent prongs.
- Do not use power cords that are nicked, frayed or otherwise damaged.
- Equipment that has been obviously damaged, had had fluid spilled on it, or is excessively dirty should not be used before calling the equipment supply company for further direction.
- Avoid touching a patient and conductive or metallic surface at the same time.
- Avoid touching 2 pieces of electrical equipment at the same time.
- If you receive a shock (not static electricity) when touching any part of an electrical instrument, get back up equipment reedy, unplug equipment immediately, disconnect patient – attach patient to back up equipment and call supply company for replacement.
- When plugging in equipment – hold plug cap not the cord.
- Insert and withdraw the plug cap in a straight line, not at an angle.
- Before attaching a patient to equipment – first plug into wall with power switch off. Patient should be disconnected from equipment before unplugging.