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What are the hospitals electrical safety measures and the hospital fire safety measures?
Environmental Health and the Practical Nurse
One of the most important aspects of patient care is to ensure safety for each patient throughout the day. It is impossible to prevent accidents completely. However, there are ways to limit the potential for accidents that may cause injury to the patient or health care personnel and the unnecessary loss of equipment.
An electric spark near a high concentration of oxygen or certain anesthetic gases may cause an instant and serious fire.
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
• Cite the hospital electrical safety measures when given a list of safety measures.
• Cite the hospital fire safety measures when given a list of safety measures.
• Cite the safety measures which pertain to the patient care environment.
HOSPITAL ELECTRICAL SAFETY MEASURES
• Use electrical equipment for the intended purpose only.
• Keep television sets, telephones, radios, hair dryers, electric shavers, and all other electrical equipment and appliances away from bathtubs and washbasins.
• Test all small appliances before use to see that they are in good working order. Ensure periodic service checks of all electrical equipment.
• Remove a plug from a wall socket by grasping the plug, not the cord.
• Use plugs and outlets with a ground when possible. Do not overload an electrical outlet.
• Do not kink electric cords; this may cause the fine wires inside the cord to break.
• Never use faulty equipment. If an appliance overheats, produces a shock or gives off an odor while being used, remove the appliance from the area. Follow procedures to have the appliance evaluated by medical maintenance.
HOSPITAL FIRE SAFETY MEASURES
a. Despite the use of fire retardant material, and compliance with fire regulations, fires still occur. Health care facilities should have regular fire drills so that all personnel know exactly what to do. Health care personnel should be trained and drilled in:
• Fire prevention.
• Location and use of fire alarms.
• Location and use of fire extinguishers.
• Location of emergency exits.
• Evacuation procedures.
b. Oxygen supports combustion. Post signs to show that oxygen is in use where applicable. If a patient is receiving oxygen as part of his treatment, be sure that the patient, his roommates, and visitors know that smoking is prohibited.
NOTE: Smoking is prohibited in treatment areas of most health care facilities.
c. If a fire occurs, follow these steps:
1. Activate the fire alarm procedures.
2. Turn off oxygen, lights, and any electrical equipment in the vicinity of the fire.
3. Remove the patients who are in immediate danger.
4. Notify the hospital "switchboard" of the location of the fire.
5. Using the fire extinguisher, attempt to extinguish the fire.
6. Close windows and doors to reduce ventilation.
7. Return patients who are not endangered to their rooms.
8. Post a guard to direct the fire department.
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