Safe Staffing – Safe Work
The problem of short staffing impacts every aspect of healthcare worker and patient safety. Healthcare, the fastest growing industry in the US, is also one of the most hazardous to workers and patients. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 656,300 healthcare worker injuries and illnesses in 2014. That’s more than in construction and mining! About one out of every 25 people who are hospitalized and seventy-five thousand patient deaths each year are attributed to healthcare associated infections. The link between short staffing, staff injury and illness, and negative patient outcomes is obvious to frontline workers. Nationwide AFT and allied healthcare unions are mobilizing to pass mandatory safe staffing ratio legislation.
Upon completing this interactive workshop, participants will be able to:
- Document the negative impacts of short staffing on patients and staff.
- Combat the myths about mandatory staffing ratios.
- Advocate for state and federal safe staffing legislation.
- Take action at the workplace to advocate for safe staffing.
Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers
Far too many healthcare facilities fail to provide adequate respiratory protection for healthcare workers exposed to infectious diseases and hazardous chemicals, including glutaraldehyde, waste anesthetic gases, antineoplastic drugs and surgical smoke. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has documented gaps in healthcare respiratory protection programs in six states. Inadequate respiratory protection programs can result in exposure to a wide host of pathogens such as tuberculosis, measles, influenza, SARS and Ebola virus infections. The goal of this workshop is to educate participants on key elements of effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on preventing healthcare worker exposures to aerosol transmissible diseases.
- Identify common pathogens and chemicals that are respiratory health hazards.
- Explain OSHA’s key requirements for an effective respiratory protection program.
- Detail respirator selection, limitations, use maintenance, cleaning and storage.
- Take action at the workplace to advocate for improved