Harm and abuse that could occur in a Care home setting
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A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or environment. Most hazards are dormant or potential, with only a theoretical risk of harm; however, once a hazard becomes “active”, it can create an emergency situation. A hazard does not exist when it is happening. A hazardous situation that has come to pass is called an incident. Hazard and vulnerability interact together to create risk. A risk is the probability or threat of damage, injury, liability, loss, or other negative occurrence, caused by external or internal vulnerabilities, and which may be neutralized through pre-mediated action.
The possibility of harm or abuse that may occur in a Care home setting to: Care and support staff: In the care home, staff must be extremely careful when working in some conditions and with certain equipment, chemicals etc. Staff must protect themselves when using dangerous and irritant chemicals, by wearing correct clothing (e. g. gloves, apron), they must also be careful that they use the right chemical, all chemicals should be labelled correctly and be stored in the right place to avoid this from happening, e. . if a staff member was too use a irritant cleaning product when cleaning a service users bed then this could result in the person having skin irritation, or in severe cases skin burns.
Staff should address the health and safety rules to prevent injuries too themselves. For example, when using a hoist too lift a service user, there must be two staff present to help lift the hoist, this aims to help avoid any injuries or damage. Service users may verbally abuse or discriminate staff.
Staff must be trained efficiently to deal and address these issues and may need specialist help when dealing with users. Users with mental conditions are prone to verbally abusing people, so training may be needed to deal with these service users. If staff feel threatened by any abuse in the care home then the patient and staff member should be dealt with by a higher member of staff, when necessary. Precautions should be taken to prevent physical abuse from patients and visitors.
If staff feel like they are going to be physically abused then they should remove themselves from the situation and report to a manager, if they have been abused then they should also report to a manger/senior staff member, too deal with the scenario. CCTV cameras should be fitted in all public areas of the care home where necessary, if any evidence is needed to prove assaults and they can also be used to prevent any future abuse. When using dangerous equipment, staff should take caution and prevent any injuries when handling it.
Disposal of waste medicines/needles etcetera should be carried out according to the care homes guide lines as to prevent this. Care home residents: Service users that live in the care home need to be aware of the care home so that they are not putting themselves in any potential situations that could cause harm and abuse; staff should also help patients when doing this. Injuries should be prevented when service users are using equipment, for example; hoists should be used correctly too avoid injury or falling.
Patients that need help with mobility should be given specific care, as they could be likely too trip or fall without If residents are prescribed medication, it should be checked carefully as too prevent giving them the wrong medication. Elderly patients are more prone to catch illnesses and infection. Too reduce the risk of them contracting an illness/infection, precautions should be took, such as; regular cleaning, reduction in cross contamination etcetera.
Equipment or items that are used on a regular basis by all service users, should be cleaned or sterilized properly, too avoid infection. Residents should be treated equally and fairly by visitors and staff and should not be abused or discriminated within the care home. If they are abused or discriminated then immediate action should be taken to protect them. This also links in to patients that are confused, some patients may be more vulnerable too being taken advantage of and precautions should be undertaken to prevent this from happening.
This could include; CCTV cameras and more checks on visitors and/or staff. Visitors: All visitors should sign in where necessary, in case of fires etc, and so that staff are aware of people that are visiting. Vigilant security enquiries should be also be undertaken when visitors are entering the building/premises. Precautions should be taken, so that visitors do not infect care home residents and ill residents do not infect visitors, for example; anti bacterial disinfectant gel/soap should be used to disinfect any harmful bacteria that could cause infection.
Visitors that are ill should be advised not to enter the home as this could be a risk too residents. Abuse from service users (especially dementia patients) should be dealt with as necessary and should be reported too senior staff members. Too prevent visitors from injuring themselves e. g. tripping or falling, measures should be took too make sure that hazardous objects or equipment are made safe or moved.