According to a recent Forbes poll nurses are the most trusted professionals in the United States. A study concluded that 82 % of Americans consider nurses to be honest and ethical; this is greatly higher than any other profession. Nurses have chosen to practice their skills to help those in need every day. Great nurses make their work, and oftentimes the work of others look easy.
For a nurse, days are long and hectic running from patient to patient. One way to help appease the madness of working in a medical facility would be to ensure the presence of medical carts in the facilities where they work. There are a host of reasons carts improve the efficiency of a medical workplace, and having them can make work a little easier for nurses and other staff members.
Carts are designed for organized supply management and quick movement. Carts are extremely important to the healthcare industry and can be seen in almost every hospital. Some carts (Non-operating room anesthesia (NORA) carts and crash carts) are specially designed to allow medical to move quickly from patient to patient. Some carts have special features (like a 5th wheel design) making sure they stay on course without wobbling. Staff members need to be able to move from patient to patient without having to worry about the cart falling over or supplies being ruined. In a life or death scenario timing is everything and having the right cart can help improve the time medical staff members need to get to patients.
Organization is crucial in a medical setting. Administering the wrong medicine or looking for supplies could be detrimental to a patient’s health. Disorganization can also add unneeded stress to the medical staff and decrease productivity. Disorganization causes staff to work harder to get their jobs done, and forces them to take extra time to find supplies rather than work with patients. Carts can be a great tool to stay organized and ready to act at all times.
Standardization can be a very beneficial practice to keep things moving smoothly. The basic definition of standardization is - the process of making something conform to a standard. Setting standards for how carts are designed and where medicine is stored can be extremely beneficial. Medical professionals can work carts in a different wing and still be able to find what they need. Standardizing where supplies are located and providing visual tools to help locate them can alleviate a lot of stress.
Specialized procedure carts are one way that medical personnel can stay organized. Procedure carts can be configured for specific procedures and functions. These carts include work areas and storage that can be utilized by the medical team. Some carts include specific attachments like defibrillator strap kits and oxygen tank holders to make them easily accessible. Medical facilities can improve work conditions greatly with the use of strategically designed carts.
Divide and Conquer
Carts that feature a drawer divider system are extremely beneficial. Divider systems make it easy to grab medication even if multiple medications are manufactured in vials that are similar. This allows the staff to segregate pre-filled syringes, and other medication without the fear of a mix up. Drawer dividers are a great tool to boost efficiency and make the most of available storage space. Dividers allow for better use of cart drawers, having more than one supply in each drawer leaves space for others. So as, nurses can take all the supplies they need, it will be clear to the person refilling which compartments are low and in need of resupply. Dividers are great to create organization and make it easier and faster to find needed supplies.
Nurses should not need to worry about medication or supplies. Carts can help alleviate this worry with added security. Security is crucial to the welfare of patients and staff, one item moved could have a dire outcome. One way would be a tamper evident seal, this lets a worker know if the cart has been accessed. This form of seal could be lifesaving, i.e. nurses will know immediately if the crash cart has been tampered with so they can act accordingly. In a workplace where timing is so important a fast an auto-locking cart is a must. When in a hurry you shouldn’t have to worry about the thing flying out of the cart. So finding a cart with an auto-lock features an extremely important, and may be required by industry guidelines, especially when it comes to medication and sharps. This feature is commonly provided via an electronic lock. Electronic locks free medical staff from having to carry keys. Electronic locks also provide other valuable additions like the utilization of card readers, so staff can use their badge for access. Some carts also include access denied feature to prevent visitors from guessing at the access code, audit reports to track who was in the cart and when, electronic access to the narcotic drawer and even wireless updating of authorized users. All of this allows nurses and staff to focus on the patient without the worry of missing or stolen supplies.
Most all documentation is now electronic, however in many cases it is difficult for a nurse to pull along a cow as well as their supply cart. Efficient supply carts have developed a means to not only equip the cart with a computer, but have also provided the ability to power it. This enables the nurse to document real time as well as have access to real time data and orders, and they can do so, without having to search and reach for an outlet to keep the computer running… through the entire shift. These supply carts marry together what nurses need most, supplies and information, and where they need it most, at the patient’s bedside.
“Bound by paperwork, short on hands, sleep, and energy…nurses are rarely short on caring,” Sharon Hudacek. Nurses have one of the hardest jobs in the world, yet they still emit love and compassion. Helping nurses is beneficial in so many ways and is as easy as having the right supplies. Carts are a great way to make sure things stay quick, organized, and secure while nurses are on the job.
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