Needle Safety

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Okay. Guys, in this lesson we're going to talk about needle safety. Nobody ever thinks about needle safety when it comes to the IVs because they think about the actual needles themselves. Yeah, there's lots of safety devices out there, but it happens. So what do you need to know? One of my favorite tips is always to make sure you know your catheter and know the device you're working with. There are three common types of safety devices on IVs nowadays. There are more, but these are the three most common types of, so you're going to see the first one is this automatic retractable one. So after you insert the IV you can hit this button in the entire needle and stylet retract back into the spring-loaded chamber. That's one of my favorite ones. Another common one that we see is this sleeve type. What happens is after you insert the IV, the entire sleeve will cover the stylette and after it does, it covers the tip of the needle so that you don't poke yourself. 

The last one that's really common is one that has a needle cover. at the end, the entire needle is exposed. So there is always a possibility of being exposed to bodily fluids unlike these two. But it does keep you from poking yourself. We often don't think about needle sticks occurring, but when they do, you need to understand why they happen. First off, we always were too quickly. We're trying to do too many things at once. What happens is people accidentally get stuck. The other thing that happens from accidental needle sticks is people are trying to use the device other than their intended. They're not following the manufacturer's guidelines or they're trying to get fancy with the equipment. There's no need to do that because somebody's eventually going to get hurt. We're told in nursing school all the time never to recap our needle. And the reason is simple. 

We don't want to hurt ourselves. And the same thing happens with IVs. People trying to put a visa in and when they don't work, they put the IV out and then they try to recap the needle and that's how accidental needle sticks occur. Now the other thing that happens is that you commonly bump into a coworker. We always work in real close proximity to each other and by happenstance, somebody gets pulled. These are really common reasons why. So what can you do to prevent these things from happening? First off, take your time. Think through the process. There's no reason to rush. If you really need an IV so fast, that patient probably doesn't need an IV. They need probably a more critical central line. There's a difference between working fast and working efficiently. You can be fast and efficient, but you also need to be careful and don't be careless. 

There are two other things that you can do to prevent yourself from getting stuck with a needle accidentally. The first one is to familiarize yourself with the device. Very commonly new devices come out because they're great, but we need to familiarize ourselves with how they work. The other thing you can do is to discard any malfunctioning equipment. It's not worth it to yourself or to your patient to have somebody get injured just because you think that you can work around it. If it doesn't work, toss it. So what do you do in the event of a needle stick? Well, first off, every hospital and every facility has got to have some sort of policy that outlines it, but there are a couple of important things that you need to do, need to notify any sort of manager or charge nurse so that they can get the right people to help you out. 

The second thing you need to do, and this can be done either before or after, is to make sure that you wash it out with soap and water just as soon as possible. You can multitask. Again, I'm big on multitasking, so if you can do something like, Hey, can you call the charge nurse because I really got to wash this out. I haven't had a particular needle stick injury happen, but I had something where I was exposed to bodily fluids and I was able to say, Hey, can you do this for me while I cleaned myself up in the event? Just like with a needle stick, you get some sort of a splash of bodily fluids to your face. Make sure you flush all that area really well with water and you also in either instance, need to seek medical attention immediately. I hope that these tips have been helpful. Now go out and be your best selves today and as always, happy nursing.

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