The concept of the safety culture of patients and personnel is crucial in the sphere of healthcare. The Health and Safety Executive (n.d.) defines this term as “individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies and patterns of behavior that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of an organization’s health and safety management” (p. 2). Culture means shared values and beliefs, controlling the working process to produce norms which directly influence patients and their safety by determining acceptable behavior models. To be able to guarantee safe care for patients, nurses should understand the basic components of culture to develop appropriate strategies of behavior when providing medical services. Nevertheless, it is vital to ensure that patient safety culture does not violate the rights of the workers as their security is another essential aspect of healthcare.
Patient safety is deemed to be one of the most significant elements of healthcare. There are several components ensuring it: understanding the influence of culture on the outcomes by determining acceptable behavior models, and focusing on system improvement, and not on individual achievements. There are also several properties influencing the issue of patient safety. The first one is leadership, implying that a system needs a strong leader capable of controlling all the necessary aspects, such as staff competencies, human resources, and other attributes needed for guarantying patient safety. The lack of leadership serves as an obstacle for safety culture provision for both workers and patients.
The second aspect is teamwork, meaning that good cooperation with open and respectful relationships among the medical personnel increases the chances of providing successful and safe care to patients. The third concept is evidence-based care, implying the necessity of using standardized protocols to guarantee safety. The next important factor is communication, suggesting that any staff member has a right to speak up on behalf of a patient or themselves, and they have to be heard. Learning is another essential criterion, which implies constant improvements and development, which is healthy for the safety of both patients and personnel. The sixth element is just, meaning that errors can be different and often depend on a high workload, which influences the nurses’ attention and can lead to failures and unsafe care provision. The last component is patient-centered care as the patient acts as a link between the medical facility and the society and demonstrates the quality of the care. All of these properties have a direct impact on the patient safety culture and should be considered to provide safe medical services of high quality.
The lack of safety culture in a medical facility can bring damage to both the patient’s and the nurses’ safety. To evade this situation, there are certain aspects which have to be considered to create the right atmosphere. They are actions of management aimed at improving patients’ and workers’ safety, the participation of workers in safety planning, access to all the necessary protective equipment, and socialization practices for new personnel (United States Department of Labor, n.d.). The application of these conditions can guarantee the provision of medical services of high quality, consistent with patient and worker safety culture.
In conclusion, the culture of safety is a crucial component of any medical organization, which protects both patients and personnel. It implies the usage of protocols for making the right prescriptions of medicine and procedures and respect for the patient’s needs. For the staff, safety means the right to be heard by management, security from incidents at the workplace, and provision of all the necessary protection equipment. As for the personal experience, my working life was fortunate as all the necessary safety measures were always provided for both patients and personnel. During the last semester, I have been volunteering for work over the phone; consequently, the only required safety precaution here is the right record of the information about patients. Neglecting the safety issue can present a serious problem and even lead to medical mistakes, thus, these rules should be strictly followed and controlled in all healthcare facilities.
Health and Safety Executive. (n.d.). Case study. Safety culture at a large distribution centre. Web.
United States Department of Labor. (n.d.). Organizational safety culture: Linking patient and worker safety. Web.