ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND THE PRACTICAL NURSE
One of the most important aspects of patient care is to ensure safety for each
patient throughout the day. It is impossible to prevent accidents completely. However,
there are ways to limit the potential for accidents that may cause injury to the patient or
health care personnel and the unnecessary loss of equipment.
HOSPITAL ELECTRICAL SAFETY MEASURES
a. Use electrical equipment for the intended purpose only.
b. Keep television sets, telephones, radios, hair dryers, electric shavers, and all
other electrical equipment and appliances away from bathtubs and washbasins.
c. Test all small appliances before use to see that they are in good working
order. Ensure periodic service checks of all electrical equipment.
d. Remove a plug from a wall socket by grasping the plug, not the cord.
e. Use plugs and outlets with a ground when possible. Do not overload an
f. Do not kink electric cords; this may cause the fine wires inside the cord to
g. Never use faulty equipment. If an appliance overheats, produces a shock or
gives off an odor while being used, remove the appliance from the area. Follow
procedures to have the appliance evaluated by medical maintenance.
An electric spark near a high concentration of oxygen or certain anesthetic
gases may cause an instant and serious fire.
HOSPITAL FIRE SAFETY MEASURES
a. Despite the use of fire retardant material, and compliance with fire
regulations, fires still occur. Health care facilities should have regular fire drills so that
all personnel know exactly what to do. Health care personnel should be trained and