5 dangers for home healthcare workers
Home healthcare workers provide essential medical and support services to patients in their homes, but they also face unique challenges and risks while performing their duties. Agencies should have protocols in place to protect workers.
Unfortunately, some dangers remain present for these workers. Understanding these may help them to remain safe.
What dangers do these workers face?
Many factors impact what dangers home healthcare workers will face. Some of the potential dangers include:
- Exposure to infectious diseases: Home healthcare workers may encounter patients suffering from contagious illnesses, increasing their risk of contracting and transmitting infections. They should be trained in proper infection control practices, such as hand hygiene, the use of personal protective equipment and the safe disposal of medical waste.
- Workplace violence: Home healthcare workers may encounter aggressive or violent patients, family members, or others while providing care. They should receive training in de-escalation techniques, setting boundaries and recognizing potentially dangerous situations.
- Slip and fall accidents: Uneven or slippery surfaces, clutter, and poor lighting can increase the risk of falls for both healthcare workers and their patients. Workers should be trained to identify and address potential hazards in the home environment.
- Travel-related risks: Home healthcare workers often need to travel between patients’ homes, exposing them to risks associated with driving, such as traffic accidents and inclement weather. Employers should establish guidelines for safe driving and provide appropriate support for workers during adverse weather conditions.
- Stress and burnout: The emotional and physical demands of providing care to patients with complex medical needs can lead to stress, burnout and mental health issues. Employers should establish support systems to help healthcare workers manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Workers who suffer an injury while doing their job duties should ensure they get medical care. Workers’ compensation coverage can provide benefits for medical care and certain other financial impacts, but claims aren’t always as straightforward as they should be. Legal guidance can help you have a more successful claim.