At the core of the home, healthcare community is the home healthcare workers who put in time and effort every single day.
At the same time, home health care workers are also exposed to unique risks, depending on the environment that they do their work. You could end up with a back injury, or find yourself working in a neighborhood that looks unsavory.
Following these tips will help you to protect yourself against the most common risks faced by home health care workers.
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1. Trust Yourself
Working in the home health care industry allows you to build rewarding relationships with your patients. But in your line of work, you aren’t in the same kind of controlled environment that you see in a hospital. This does present some risks.
A lot of home health care workers find themselves working alone. You usually won’t have a partner or a supporting staff helping you. Consider taking these precautions, to improve safety conditions in your place of work.
- The first time you go to a patient’s home, ensure that you have directions that are clear to you. You don’t want to find yourself lost in a new neighborhood.
- Always lock the doors of your car before leaving it. If you have any valuables or bags, then keep them hidden.
- You should easily be able to reach your mobile phone, in case there’s an emergency.
- You should have your emergency contacts listed out as well. Inform your agency as well, regarding who your emergency contacts are.
- Your agency should be informed of where you are all the time.
2. Listening To Your Body
Whenever your work is strenuous, the risk of physical injury is always there. Home health care workers usually work in unfamiliar environments. If you don’t watch where you’re going, you could end up tripping and falling.
Home health care workers often have to lift or move patients. This makes them more prone to back injuries. If you don’t have a partner supporting you, then pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you.
If you’re lifting or moving a patient, then your knees should be properly bent, and your posture should be good. In addition to this, you’ll also need to watch where you’re going.
If your patient is someone you find difficult to move, then you can ask your agency to provide you with a partner.
You should also consider insurance for home health care. This is as your career leaves you vulnerable to certain risks, like getting sued by dissatisfied patients. With insurance for home health care, you can protect your career as well as your finances. To learn more about insurance for home health care, click here.
3. Exercise Caution With Pets
One of the benefits of working in home health care is that you’ll get to spend a lot of time in the patient’s home, developing a relationship with them. And if they have pets, you’ll be developing relationships with them as well.
While many pets are friendly, not all are. Don’t touch the pet without asking the patient first, as they could be volatile.
4. Dealing With Abusive Situations
Although it’s rare for home health care workers to find themselves in an abusive scenario at work, it does happen. Any time you find yourself in a situation that’s volatile, either with the patient or a guest, trust your instincts.
Stay calm and regulate your voice to sound firm. Try to look for a safe space. Get in touch with your supervisor as well and let them know about the situation. If you find it necessary, call the police as well. Your safety should always be your priority.
Home health workers are often so busy taking care of their patients, they forget to take care of themselves. But your safety should always be on your find, especially when you find yourself working in unfamiliar surroundings. Following the safety tips in this guide can enable you to protect yourself better at work.