NEW YORK NURSE: December 2010
Q.: We want to make our annual mandatory day more interesting for our staff. We have had several planning meetings, but we need help getting started!
A.: While it’s a great idea to make mandatory day more interesting, the difficult part will be narrowing it down to a manageable size to get pertinent information across without being lost in detail! Here are some suggestions:
Hand washing is extremely important for the reduction of infections. You can get some pretty good poster ideas from the CDC. You may even want to just use one of theirs. A sink and some soap can provide a good prop for a “can you do it correctly” demonstration. Nurses can volunteer to wash their hands and demonstrate the correct technique. Of course, all will do well with some well-placed, non-threatening pointers from your staff!
If this event is going to occur before or during flu season, consider a mini-vaccination campaign with a slogan such as: “A shot and a surprise!” Perhaps the surprise could be a coupon for a free ice cream in the cafeteria? The poster could identify myths and information for nurses.
The tenth anniversary of the safer sharps devices legislation has just been celebrated. A selection of the latest devices your facility uses to avoid needlestick injuries could easily be put together and be educational, as well.
While the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is the last resort to protect nurses, the correct PPE selection and use for the task is very important. Perhaps you could create a matching board with a task on one side and a set of PPE on the other. Nurses visiting this session will be asked to select a task and then select the correct PPE. Prizes for correct answers could be given out, such as waterless hand cleaners, pairs of disposable exam gloves, and hand moisturizer.
You can ask the safe patient handling (SPH) champion, if one exists in your facility, to bring an SPH device and demonstrate a safe patient lifting technique using the device. A return demonstration by the nurse could be encouraged.
For addressing fire safety, instead of the usual “RACE” poster, how about taking pictures around the hospital? These pictures could reinforce the “Keep all hallways and passages clear of clutter and equipment” policy, which is designed to maintain a clear means of egress.
Because violence is an issue in almost every facility, a poster explaining the four typologies of violence identified by NIOSH may be of interest. You may also want to request the poster NYSNA has just created to combat violence in the workplace and inform patients and visitors about the new felony law.
One fun poster could entail using a fictitious MSDS sheet with some outrageous entries. The nurses visiting this session could be given a questionnaire to complete regarding the information on the MSDS. For example, using the chemical “NastyAcid-BadStuff” in each of the seven sections found on an MSDS form, fill in some unusual properties, ingredients, health effects, first aid measures.
Good luck. Hopefully, this will get your creative ideas flowing and you can come up with several more ideas.
The NYSNA EGW Program receives many inquiries each month from members who have problems in their workplaces. If you have a question about labor relations at your facility, contact your NYSNA nursing representative. If you have a question you think should be featured in this column, send it to: RNs at Work, NYSNA, 120 Wall Street, 23rd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005.