As a Nurse Practitioner, one of the fundamental duties is to understand the system of health care to ensure efficient and safe service delivery. In my practice, I strive to meet the highest standard of patient safety within the policies and patient safety resources availed at the clinical setting. Understanding the policies and limitations of the scope of practice coupled with understanding my limitations as a practitioner is essential to meeting patient safety demands.
The complexity of the healthcare system, that is, the tasks, environment, policies, and technologies, requires the nurse practitioner to have an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness provides an opportunity for the nurse to utilize available resources to achieve high standards of patient care (Hughes & US, 2008). For instance, technology in healthcare came along with numerous devices aimed to improve practice. As a nurse, some of the interfaces and setting may be challenging. To guarantee patient safety, it is wise to let a technologist assist with the settings and troubleshooting of the devices. Similarly, the nurse must take time to learn how best to use the devices in improving patient outcomes.
Education, skills, and attitudes of a nurse contribute to the level of patient care and safety. Focusing so much on individual knowledge and skills can create barriers and opportunities for errors that undermine patient safety. The common phrase, “human is to err” is evidence of such opportunities (Hughes & US, 2008). Consequently, the nurse ought to avoid overreliance on knowledge and memory and be part of the healthcare system. Health care practice and patient care are guided by evidence-based protocols and organizational policies. Following the protocols in patient care minimizes the chances of errors (Mosadeghrad, 2014). High patient safety standards are upheld when the nurse comes to the clinical setting understanding the system, their scope of practice, human limitations and available resources.
1. Hughes, R., & United States. (2008). Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
2. Mosadeghrad, A. M. (2014). Factors influencing healthcare service quality. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 3(2), 77–89.
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