In nursing, there is a fine line between high tech and high touch. Sometimes I wonder, with so much technology, will they even need nurses in the future?
Someday there may be a “tricorder” like Bones used in the Star Trek series to diagnose and heal people. But … back to reality.
It’s interesting that nursing is so high tech yet there are a 100,000 deaths that occur in hospitals each year as a result of medical mistakes. To learn more click here. Other high tech industries do not have fatality rates comparable to this. For example, the airline industry is very high tech where peoples’ lives are on the line yet airplanes fly safely every day.
In an article published in nurse.com, “Safety Checklists for Pilots Can Work for Nurses Too,” the Author talks about an acronym: IAMSAFE.
The IAMSAFE checklist is an objective measure used to determine if a pilot could take on another shift. This is how the acronym is broken down:
I — Are you suffering from an ILLNESS or symptom of an illness that might affect your ability/performance?
M – Are you currently taking any MEDICATION, prescription or over-the-counter drugs?
S – Are you overly worried about other factors in your life? Psychological, environmental and physiological STRESS can be a powerful distraction and affect your ability.
A — Have you consumed any ALCOHOL in the last 24-hours? (Editorial liberties applied).
F — Have you had sufficient sleep and adequate nutrition to counter FATIGUE?
E — Have you fully recovered from an extremely upsetting EMOTIONAL event?
The Author’s conclusion is that if you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should not take on an additional shift. However, I don’t think IAMSAFE should just be for if you are planning to take an additional shift. I think these safety precautions should be used by nurses for any and every shift.
Recently, I became aware of a facility that does not allow nurses to call in sick! I do not understand how a facility can allow a nurse to come into work while ill when she may be contagious and could pass her illness on to patients.
If you don’t feel you are safe, do NOT go to work. You can always get another job, but you can’t get another license.
I would love to hear your thoughts about the IAMSAFE recommendations in the comments below.
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