May 4, 2016
Jemarion Jones, 301-628-5198
Steve Carpinelli, 301-628-5034
American Nurses Association Calls for a Culture of Safety
in All Health Care Settings
SILVER SPRING, MD — During National Nurses Week (May 6-12), the American Nurses Association (ANA) is asking nurses to help make their workplaces safer to enhance patient care and nurses' health and well-being. The emphasis on developing this type of work environment is also reflected in the National Nurses Week theme, "Culture of Safety—It Starts with YOU."
At 3.4 million strong, registered nurses are the largest group of health care professionals. However, registered nurses also rank sixth among all occupations for the highest rates of musculoskeletal injuries resulting in missed work days. Every day, nurses and other health care workers suffer debilitating pain and often career-ending injuries from manually lifting patients—an estimated 3,600 pounds per shift. "Injuries to nurses and other health care professionals should not be tolerated as just ‘part of the job'," said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
Patients also deserve a safe environment. Cipriano added, "In a culture of safety, nurses are encouraged to talk openly about safety issues and their impact on patient care. A 2013 study showed that preventable adverse events accounted for 210,000 to 440,000 deaths of hospital patients every year. Clearly, there is still work to be done, and nurses will play a key role."
ANA defines a Culture of Safety as one in which a health care organization's leaders, managers and workers are committed to core values and behaviors that emphasize safety over competing goals. Other signs of a safety-focused culture include openness and mutual respect when discussing safety concerns and solutions without shifting to individual blame; a learning environment; transparency and accountability; and reliable teams.
To celebrate National Nurses Week and its emphasis on improving nurses' work environments, ANA is offering nurses a free webinar, "Culturally Congruent Care: Why Diversity Makes a Difference," at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 10. Nurses are also encouraged to download the National Nurses Week Resource Toolkit, which includes tips, tools and resources to promote the annual observance in local communities and in the media. For more information about National Nurses Week, visit NursingWorld.org/NNW.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all.