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Explain potential hazards and the harm that may arise from each in a health or social care setting Essay

To achieve P1 you need to explore the hazards that might arise in a health and social care setting. The focus is on explaining hazards that may arise for a specific service user group (elderly, young children, young adults with learning difficulties) when providing services for that particular group. It is a good idea to base P1 on a particular setting, the setting that you plan to carry out your risk assessment on, so that your assignment flows professionally. You need to be able to recognise many potential hazards relevant to a care setting and service users, but evidence for a minimum of 6 is expected to meet P1 criteria. The key focus is that learners can relate possible hazards with the abilities and limitations of the service user group. E.g. walking may be hazardous for both a toddler and an older person but for different reasons – the toddler has not yet learnt coordination and an adult may have wasted muscles or have less strength to stop themselves from falling. You need to be aware of which applies. Physical environment, Substances, Working conditions, Infections, Working practices, Security Health Care Setting: Adolescent Psychiatric Ward

I am a manager of an adolescent psychiatric ward. There are many potential hazards on the ward. A potential security hazard in an adolescent psychiatric ward could be: The windows; if there was a fire the windows are all unable to open enough to get out and they cannot be broken easily. The reason the windows are like this is to stop the patients who are on section from leaving or breaking the windows to harm themselves or others. But if there is a fire no one can get out or in easily which could cause fatalities and injuries. Confidential information; all the confidential information must be kept in the office, which is locked from young people, it must be out of site from any young people looking through the window to the room. Should be filled away at the end of using it to ensure that it is kept safe and that no-one who shouldn’t see it is able to read it. Any confidential information that is held on computer has to be password protected and only certain people are allowed the password to the information.

Potential physical hazards in an adolescent psychiatric ward could be: The furniture; the furniture has to be either too heavy to pick up, stuck to the floor or walls, be too light to do damage. This is so that no one can use it to hurt themselves or others. Sharp corners; there has to be no sharp corners on the anywhere, this is so that no one can hurt themselves on it either accidentally or on purpose. Glass and Electrical equipment; a certain kind of plastic has to be used to cover any electrical equipment within the ward, and be instead of glass inside the ward, the plastic has to be non-breakable so they young people can not break it and hurt themselves or others Doors; all doors should be locked and only be able to open by a staff member, this is because the staff need to know where they young people are and so that the young people can’t lock themselves or others in a room and so that they young people who are on section can not leave. Kitchen; the kitchen should be out of bounds to the young people an the occupational kitchen needs an occupation therapist to be supervising. This is so that the young people can not hurt themselves or others with the equipment in the kitchen and that if a young person has a eating disorder the food they eat is monitored. Hot drinks; they must be of a luke warm temperature so it will not scold the young person either accidentally or on purpose or for a young person not to scold someone else.

Potential substance hazards in an adolescent psychiatric ward could be: Medication; the young people could store up their medication for taking as an overdose, checks need to be done after giving each young person medication they are on, and when possible give liquids only. Also the medication charts need to have a photo of the young person it is from and have a second member of staff to check that it is the right medication, the right dose and given to the right person. Cleaning products; the young people should be in a different area from which the cleaners are cleaning in and the cleaners must make sure no cleaning products are left behind. The young people could take the cleaning products and harm themselves or others.

Potential working conditions hazards in an adolescent psychiatric ward could be: Staffing levels; the staff would be over worked and if there is problems on the ward then staff would be stretched which means there is risk of someone getting hurt. To prevent this happening there should be a minimum of 3 members of staff on duty at all time and when there is more young people, the staffing levels should increase. Hours; the working hours are long on the ward, most staff work 12 hour shifts 4 times a week, if a member of staff does more than this then they could get tired and then hazards could arise because they have less attention and both the young people and the staff have a risk of getting injured. To prevent this staff can only work a maximum of 48 hours a week, including overtime.

Potential infections hazards in an adolescent psychiatric ward could be: Poor ventilation; poor ventilation means that when there is airborne infections, like influenza, the common cold, throat infections, they are more likely to spread quickly, to try to prevent this it is important have fresh air circulating. Food hygiene; as the food is all cooked in the kitchen by the chefs, they have to make sure that all the food is cooked and prepared properly otherwise there is a high risk of food borne infections, like Salmonella and E. coli.

Potential working practices hazards in an adolescent psychiatric ward could be: Restraining; when the staff have to restrain the young people, they must have had the proper training to make sure that they know how to do the techniques properly so as to not injure themselves or the person they are restraining.


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