What do you do as a travel nurse or allied healthcare traveler? It’s a complex question with so many answers, especially when trying to break it down for those outside the medical career wheelhouse.
Heck, sometimes there’s too many answers to choose from when talking with those inside the facilities you support. This week got the team thinking, if you ever run into a couple of “Bobs” asking about your medical travel career roles…
…tell ‘em, “Patient Safety.” It’s easy to digest and reminds us all of a healthcare professional’s top priority.
Patient Safety Awareness Week
As an LRS Healthcare Clinical Nurse, patient safety is one of Erin Johnsen’s main gigs. And, she’s so good at it, we wanted to share her breakdown of what patient safety means to her and some advice for travelers as we all celebrate Patient Safety Awareness Week.
How would you describe patient safety to a person outside of the medical field?
Patient safety is the number one priority of any healthcare professional. Every action a healthcare provider takes is to prevent the patient from incurring errors, injuries, accidents and infections.
What does patient safety mean to those engrained in the medical field?
We are our patients’ last line of defense and their safety is our main priority. We are their advocates, their protectors and we must do everything within our power to be sure they are safe in all aspects of our care, 100 percent of the time
What are some common best practices for patient safety care, be it the caregiver or those being cared for?
- Use proper hand hygiene (always, always, always) to curb infection. That goes for patients, visitors, caregivers and healthcare teams.
- Abide by the five rights of medication administration as a healthcare professional—right medication, right dose, right time, right route and right patient.
- Foster a culture of appropriate open communication between the patient, the patient’s family and your healthcare team to minimize mistakes.
What’s a great tip for medical travelers when practicing patient safety consistently in various facilities across the nation?
Make patient safety your number one priority at the start of every shift. Always decide to act upon the patient’s best interest and be their advocate. Please don’t cut corners or believe “it’s OK, just this time” because something negative will happen and it could cost somebody their life. Be the best you can be, every single shift, and the patients and their loved ones will appreciate it.
About Erin Johnsen, LRS Healthcare clinical nurse liaison, BSN, RN
“As an LRS Healthcare Clinical Nurse Liaison, I assist with areas of clinical concern or incidents. I’m here to assist with any clinical situation by investigation, work with the hospital to obtain information and help with resolving any areas of improvement needed on the clinicians’ side. This may entail assigning continuing education units (CEUs) or developing a plan to improve skill sets. I also serve as a resource or guide to any of our travelers when they need assistance finding CEUs, advice while on contract or anything they may need clinically.
Prior to becoming a Clinical Nurse Liaison for LRS Healthcare, I had spent most of my career as a Pediatric Nurse. I pursued nursing because it was my passion and a goal, even as a young child. I come from a family of nurses and I got to see how big of an impact they had on their patients during some of the happiest and most devastating times of their lives. I knew I wanted to be a part of that impact and be an advocate for those people.”