The Importance Of Safety Of Visiting Patients

754 Words 4 Pages
“Is it safe for a nurse to be going into multiple peoples’ homes alone?” This question often arises in my clinical group. One would think that this question is asked often not only by visiting nurses but also the organizations sending these nurses out into their communities. Using multiple search engines such as CINAHL, Nursing and Allied Health, and Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition I found very little on the topic of safety of visiting nurses. It appears that this question is not asked nearly as much as I had anticipated. It was a struggle to find three articles on the topic, but it was nearly impossible to find recent articles on the topic. When I found that there were no other articles that were more recent, I decided to settle on …show more content…
It is beneficial for patients to receive home care because it is less costly than a hospital visit or stay and they will be more comfortable at home than in a hospital. Although this is a great resource for many people, these visiting nurses put themselves into danger every time they visit a patient. A danger different than that of hospital work arises in this field; nurses are alone and vulnerable to assault. When in the hospital setting assault is possible but there are always other people around to help. Visiting nursing is different because the nurse is completely alone and inside the homes of strangers. I have not yet shadowed a visiting nurse so I do not personally know how dangerous it can be. I do however know that people can be violent or aggressive (especially towards women, who are often thought to be unable to defend themselves) so I can assume the danger level of visiting nursing to be fairly high. When conducting research into this topic I was hoping to find a system that is in place to prevent this form of workplace assault. Instead I found very few scholarly articles that even addressed the topic of the dangers of visiting …show more content…
According to McPhaul (2005), there were no workplace violence prevention strategies in place for visiting health care workers in 2005. McPhaul (2005) recognized that future studies need to be done in this topic because so few existed when she wrote her dissertation. My findings show that ten years later, in 2015, there is still very little research on the topic. The last article I was able to find on this topic also acknowledged that visiting nursing is “unpredictable, uncontrollable, and uncertain” (Billay, 2001). Despite this article being written in 2001, I learned from it that Alberta, Canada has had measures in place to protect those who work alone since 2001. These measures include writing a hazard assessment and taking measures to reduce or eliminate the hazards (Billay, 2001). It seems that the United Sates could learn from this system that Alberta has in place and attempt to achieve something similar. Any steps taken to improve the situation for visiting nurses will be better than doing nothing. More research needs to be done and safety practices need to be put in place for visiting nurses. It is not acceptable that the people keeping the community healthy must face extra hazards on top of increased exposure to

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