Healthcare Organizational Awareness | Nursing homework help
Use of paper, applicable federal and state laws
It is the purpose of the paper to increase the knowledge of nurses working in emergency departments (ED) about the treatment of environmental risks. The term environmental hazards refers to any danger that may be posed by the environment or people. Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act in 1986, also called the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. EPCRA sets forth requirements regarding emergency preparedness and planning, as well as requiring facilities to provide information to local and state authorities about the storage, release, or use of hazardous substances. There are also state laws covering hazardous materials. Facilities must adhere to both federal and state laws. Hazardous Waste Control laws, such as the one in California, regulate the creation, transportation and disposal of hazardous materials.
Specific Employee Groups and Specific Healthcare Settings
The paper is aimed at ED nurses working in hospitals. ED nurses have the responsibility of assessing and treating patients that present in the ED. They must also be able identify and manage environmental hazards which may harm patients, visitors and staff. ED nurses must also ensure that appropriate authorities are notified if a dangerous material spills or is released within the ED.
Discussion of Three Critical Aspects of Employee’s Responsibilities
Discussion on Employee Critical Responsibility No. 1: Identification Environmental Hazards
ED nurses should be able identify environmental hazards that may exist in the ED. The ED may have chemical spills or airborne contaminants. In order to effectively manage environmental hazards, it is essential that ED nursing staff are aware of the hazards present and know what they may include. EPCRA requires that facilities who use, store or release hazardous material develop an emergency response plan. ED nurses should be aware of this plan, and know their role when responding to environmental hazards.
The failure to recognize environmental hazards could have grave consequences for patients, visitors and staff. Failing to fulfill this duty can have serious consequences, including civil liability and fines.
Discussion of Critical Employee Responsibility No. 2: Management of environmental hazards
ED nurses should be able properly to manage environmental hazards. ED nurses must be able to manage environmental hazards in the ED. This involves using protective gear (PPE), decontaminating the equipment and surfaces when necessary and notifying appropriate authorities if a harmful material is released or spilled. ED nurses must also be familiar with the facility’s emergency response plan and know how to implement it if an environmental hazard occurs.
Environmental hazards that are not properly managed can cause harm to the patients, the staff and the visitors to the ED. They may also have legal and financial implications for the hospital. OSHA may issue citations and punishments to facilities that violate workplace safety rules, and EPCRA can impose fines and other sanctions for those who fail to report dangerous materials.
Discussion on Employee Critical Responsibility No. 3 Documentation and Reporting Environmental Hazards
ED nurses should document and report any incidents involving hazardous materials in the ED. It is important to document any releases or spills of hazardous material, and any illnesses or injuries that could have been caused by exposure. ED nurses must also report these incidents to the appropriate authorities, including the hospital’s safety officer, the local fire department, and state and federal regulatory agencies.
Documenting and reporting environmental hazards is important to avoid legal or financial penalties for your facility. It can also cause harm to staff and patients in the emergency department. Reporting a release of hazardous materials can lead to fines.