Change Proposal Research Proposal

Pages: 5 (1866 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing

Change Proposal

America became aware of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980's. By the mid-1980's it seemed as though it was the most talked about disease in this country. It was primarily known as a gay, white male's disease but as the years progressed it has become prevalent in other demographics. It was thought to be primarily a sexually transmitted disease between males, or passed along from an infected mother to her unborn child. It was also known to be contracted by drug users who shared needles and were carriers of the disease. Since the early days of AIDs awareness we have come a long way in treatment and prevention. However, the contraction of this disease and other viruses continue to be an issue for many healthcare facilities because of needle stick injuries.

We may assume that needle stick injuries are still a major factor in under developed countries. For instance, the HIV / AIDS rate is high in countries such as Botswana. However, a study was done of emergency room nursing in a hospital in Botswana and it was discovered that the nurses took every precaution to prevent needle stick injuries and were compliant with procedures. Chelenyane et al. state that compliancy was not the issue at this hospital. Lack of resources is what the nurses also had to focus on, such as not having enough clean needles to use per patient.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Research Proposal on Change Proposal Assignment

Surprisingly, needle stick injuries among healthcare workers are still a major concern today in the United States as well as other countries. This is not because of the resource problems that exist in other countries. Because of the recent advances in HIV prevention and AIDs treatment, many do not consider the disease as a major threat to life that it once was. There used to be a time where contracting the virus was a death sentence. Now that people are living productive lives after contracting the virus may be the reason for the lax attitude in some. Some people, even healthcare workers think that HIV is no longer a concern. This is a fallacy because the AIDs virus is not the only thing to be concerned about. There are other viruses such as hepatitis that can be dangerous, too.

Kessler et.al did a survey of healthcare workers at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago and discovered that many needle stick injuries go unreported at this facility because many of the workers do not feel that exposure to blood and other bodily fluids is serious (2011). This proves the theory that many healthcare workers do not view exposures to someone else's bodily fluids as a threat. This is a dangerous practice. A worker can be infected with a serious virus and not know about it until it is too late to properly treat it. If the needle stick injury is reported right away, proper precautions can be taken to ensure things do not get out of hand.

If a healthcare worker has suffered from a needle stick injury, they are not the only person at risk of being infected by the exposure of bodily fluids. They could potentially put their coworkers and their family members at risk. Preventing needle stick injuries should be done on a personal, professional and organization level. The healthcare facility or organization has a responsibility to educate its workers on needle stick injuries, how to prevent them and what to do if one should occur. The healthcare worker has a professional duty to coworkers as well as the patients to do everything possible to prevent a needle stick injury from occurring. The healthcare worker also has a personal or ethical responsibility to have enough concern to want to prevent needle stick injuries.

According to Alamgir et al., healthcare workers are the main cause of needle stick injuries because they fail to recap the needle after it has been used and disposed of. They say it is rare for a healthcare worker to get stuck by a needle while treating a patient (2008). For this reason, healthcare organizations should make sure all workers are in compliance with universal precautions pertaining to needle stick injuries. Harris and Nicolai did a survey of medical workers and determined that over 78% of those who responded did not know all of the precautionary procedures to prevent needle sticks. They discovered that many workers had not been trained properly on precautionary measures and that certification helped to alleviate this concern (2010).

In order to validate that needle stick injuries actually do occur at the facility, reporting measures must be established and nursing should always be professional enough to report when one has occurred. Workers could be given an anonymous survey regarding needle sticks. The data should be carefully analyzed for accurate reporting. Nurses are more susceptible to this type of injury and white female nurses ranked highest on the list of those reporting needle stick injuries. Nurses between the ages of 35 to 44 had higher rates of injury while those nurses 54 and lower reported the lowest rate of incident (Leigh et al., 2008). Although nurses would be the main target for the study, other healthcare workers dealing with needles (such as janitors or maintenance workers) would also need to be included in the study.

The driving or restraining forces affecting goal attainment could be the nurses and other workers themselves. As mentioned, there is still a perception among hospital and healthcare workers that needle stick injuries are not as life threatening as they were twenty or even ten years ago. In order to prove this point wrong, hospital administrators should do extensive research on how many workers have actually been negatively affected by a needle stick. Even though the numbers may turn out to be small, there is always the possibility that something could happen.

Results of the survey should be made public to the workers as well as the risks they are potentially exposed to if they should receive a needle stick. Training must be set in place and made available at times that are convenient to the workers. The training should be done at various times during the work day so that workers do not have to use personal time for training. They should have to take a compliance quiz after training to verify that they understand all procedures pertaining to the prevention and reporting of needle stick injuries. The compliance quiz should be mandatory and taken on a yearly basis.

Changing the nurses' thought processes toward the disposal of used needles is important. There is, as we know a nursing shortage in this country meaning that many nurses are over worked which may cause a slip in proper procedures of discarding used needles. Carelessness is never an excuse when it comes to endangering one's own life and the life of others. Even though the rate of blood borne diseases may have been greatly reduced because of advances in medicine, they still exist. There is still a possibility that a disease could result from a needle stick due to carelessness so changing the way nurses view this issue is important.

In order for the process of compliancy to be initiated and adhered to, each nurse must act in an individual capacity as a leader and all nurses must work together as leaders in order to reach the goal of lowering the rate of needle stick injuries at the facility. The responsibility of decision-making must fall to all nurses so that there is a sense of professionalism in the workplace as well as courtesy for coworkers. The more the nurses feel responsible for making the process work, the more they will feel invested in it.

The plan for implementation of the compliancy rules regarding needle stick injuries would be to first have the nursing supervisor relay to staff members that the process will begin by the taking of a survey on the reporting of needle stick injuries in their particular department. The survey process for all departments should be completed within a month. After this, the results will be calculated and reported to each individual department and to the hospital as a whole. If the results show a fair amount of needle sticks regardless of by department or for the hospital as a whole, training will be implemented and everyone must participate. If the survey results show only a small percentage of needle stick injuries, nurses will be given information on maintaining the low rate of incidents. In either case, compliancy testing will be mandatory for all nurses at least once a year and everyone must pass the test.

Regardless of the outcome of the surveys, posters with information on how to properly handle needle stick injuries will be prominently displayed in each unit of the facility to serve as a daily reminder to the nurses on how to dispose of used needles and what to do should an injury occur. The cost of the implementation of the program should be relatively low. Surveys… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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