Summary

In study session V you have learnt

  • According to World Health Organization (WHO) , occupational safety and health can be defined as a multidisciplinary activity aiming at: Protection and promotion of the health of workers by eliminating occupational factors and conditions hazardous to health and safety at work
  • The ILO/WHO definition of occupational health is The promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental social well- being of workers in all occupation
  • Anesthetists spend more time in operating rooms than do most other group of health workers. These results in greater exposure to the risks of the operating room environment, such as the potential long-term effects of trace anesthetic gases.
  • Prevention and control measures for exposure of anesthetic gases include: good anaesthetic practice, frequent changes of theatre air and gas scavenging
  • Occupational exposure to a range of pathogens represents a serious risk to anaesthetists. The risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B and C, are well known, but occupational exposure also includes airborne pathogens such as tuberculosis
  • Prevention of infectious diseases include the practice of universal precautions including: Needle precautions, including no recapping and immediate disposal of contaminated needles, use of gloves and other barriers during contact with open wounds and body fluids, frequent hand-washing and proper techniques for disinfection or disposal of contaminated materials.
  • Anaesthetists can be exposed to ionizing radiation from X-rays and to non-ionizing radiation from lasers.
  • The two most important methods of minimizing radiation exposure are using proper barriers and maximizing the distance from the source of radiation
  • Anesthesia is a high-risk medical specialty for drug addiction. Reasons for this include the stress of anesthetic practice, the easy availability of drugs with addiction potential, and curiosity aroused by a patient's euphoria after receiving opioids and sedatives
  • Effective prevention strategies for substance abuse or drug addiction are difficult to formulate but may include better control of drug availability and education about the severe consequences of substance abuse.
  • Stress is an inevitable factor in professional and personal life and can lead to negative health effects, both mental and physical
  • Moderate levels of stress are an important driving factor in optimizing performance, but prolonged and excessive levels of stress, coupled with inadequate coping mechanisms, can lead to decreased job satisfaction, impairment of decision making and even suicide.
  • The management of stress hinges on the recognition of its nature and causes, and an understanding of how individuals respond. Modifications to lifestyle can then be made before clinical skills become impaired
  • Fatigue is one of the occupational hazards of anesthetists. Sleep loss and disruption of circadian rhythm can lead to reduced attention and vigilance, poor memory, impaired decision making, prolonged reaction time and disrupted communications
  • Strategies to reduce fatigue-related incidents include relief planning, regular and rehearsed equipment checking routines, improved workplace design and regulation of working hour.

Last modified: Tuesday, 22 November 2016, 9:32 AM