Easy Ways to Make Sharps Collection Safer
Managing a clinical environment gives you plenty of opportunities to restore people to a better state of health. However, with this privilege comes risks, especially when you're managing bodily fluids. From needles through to cannulas, the use of sharps collection allows you to safely dispose of hazardous materials. Doing so doesn't just ensure you adhere to local laws, it keeps you, your staff, and your patients safe. To make the most of such services, there are certain approaches you can take.
Use appropriate sharps boxes in clinical settings
Whether you're in the midst of a medical emergency or collecting routine blood samples, having a sharps box on hand is essential for several reasons:
- You reduce the risk of needlestick injuries
- You prevent cross-contamination
- You can account for the tools you use in theatre
Before using a sharps collection service, make sure you have adequate boxes in your clinical setting. Doing so avoids placing your staff in a position where they dispose of hazardous material unsafely, allowing you to keep them safe.
Educate your staff on sharps removal
If you're a clinical leader, safe sharps disposal may seem obvious to you. However, staff and students of all grades might not have the same insight, which means it's your responsibility to provide them with an appropriate education.
In addition to informing them as to which items fall into the sharps category, you should also provide information on clinical risks, including the transmission of blood-borne viruses. You should also make them aware of your setting's policy on needlestick and other such injuries, including where to seek appropriate treatment should they encounter one.
Providing such information doesn't just protect your staff; it also acts as a motivating factor for correctly disposing of sharps.
Ensure sharps collections take place regularly
Although having sharps collection boxes and disposal policies in place is useful, the only way to fully protect your staff and patients is to use a regular collection service. Opting for routine sharps collection comes with the following benefits:
- You free up the boxes on site to allow for continuously safe disposal
- You adhere to the Department of Health's collection guidelines
- Through the above, you can minimise the risk of unsafe practices, fines, and litigation
Naturally, each clinical setting varies in terms of requirements. As such, it's advisable to consult with professionals prior to deciding how often you need to use such services. With a full assessment, you can reduce the number of sharps lingering in your medical environment, allowing for a more hygienic working space.