7 Qualities That Make A Nurse Successful

Where to Learn More about Healthcare Workers’ Rights

Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the US. According to recent data, there are more than 18 million healthcare workers, and the demand for them is expected to rise by 13% in the upcoming years.

Unfortunately, working in this heroic profession comes with risks, as workers are frequently exposed to foreign elements that can cause serious health hazards.

The US government has approved certain rights for medical practitioners and nurses to protect all healthcare providers. These regulations protect individuals working in healthcare against injuries and hazards in the workplace.

What Rights Do Healthcare Workers’ Have?

The rights of healthcare workers are implemented for the safety of medical practitioners and patients. They also help healthcare facilities, managers, and employees understand their job duties and remain safe while carrying out their responsibilities.

Unfortunately, most healthcare providers do not know the rights they are entitled to. This is because medical and nursing schools mainly focus on teaching diseases, diagnosis, and treatment plans.

In simple words, these are the basic rights all workers in the medical field need to know:

  • Healthcare workers should have access to healthcare identity verification to identify and authenticate each patient’s identity through automated software. Medical personnel can use the healthcare identity verification system to prevent identity theft.
  • Employers, managers, and superiors should treat all healthcare workers with respect.
  • Staff should be provided with the necessary preventive and protective measures to minimize health risks.
  • Healthcare workers should be provided with proper training, instructions, and information to maintain personal safety while treating patients.
  • Medical staff should receive special training on infection control and prevention.
  • Information on infectious agents, chemical hazards, physical injury hazards, and stress management should be provided.
  • Medical personnel must have easy access to IPC (Infection Prevention and Control), and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) supplies to keep them safe from infections.
  • Medical centers should create a safe environment to allow health workers to report and take necessary measures on incidents, such as violence and intense trauma.
  • Medical facilities should allow health workers to conduct self-assessment, symptom reporting, and illness leaves.
  • Medical workers can maintain reasonable working hours and should be encouraged to take occasional breaks.
  • Healthcare workers can remove themselves from a case or medical situation based on a reasonable justification. The valid reasons can include ‘threat to life’ or the risks of contracting a contagious disease.
  • Healthcare workers can refuse to resume their medical duties if their health is endangered.
  • Access to mental health and counseling centers should be provided to healthcare workers.

Platforms Healthcare Workers Can Visit to Learn Their Rights

Learning about their rights is vital for healthcare workers. Therefore, they can check these platforms to update their knowledge.

IFHHRO- Medical Human Rights Network

IFHHRO (International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organizations) is a facility that provides information on health-related rights for workers in the medical industry. It offers a training manual to ensure all medical field workers know and understand their fundamental privileges. The training manual covers the following:

  • Introduction of health and human rights
  • Essential information about the rights in the healthcare department
  • Healthcare workers and their rights

Healthcare workers can also use the material to self-educate or provide training and information to their fellow workers. All resources offered by this platform are free.

World Health Organization (WHO)

World Health Organization (WHO) is an agency of the United Nations that promotes healthy practices across the globe by sharing information on health-related topics. Therefore, WHO also provides information on the rights of healthcare workers.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been changes in healthcare workers’ rights to ensure they feel safe during work hours. WHO has a new and updated document that shows health workers’ rights, roles, and responsibilities amid the pandemic.

By following the instructions mentioned by WHO, the medical force can reduce the risk of contracting viral diseases and exposure to pathogens. This will also help prevent burnout, mental strain, stress, and physical and psychological violence in health workers.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a part of the United States Department of Labor. It is dedicated to creating a safe and healthy work environment. The organization establishes and enforces high health standards in the government and private sectors. OSHA also hosts training and educational programs to teach healthy practices and rights to workers.

To value healthcare practitioners’ rights, OSHA has created multiple resources to help hospitals assess safety needs and requirements. It helps healthcare facilities implement safety and health management systems that ensure workers can safely handle each patient. As a result, doctors, nurses, and lab operators can prevent disease contraction and injuries. Different courses offered by OSHA are:

  • Understanding the Problem: This course informs about health hazards found at hospitals. It also teaches how hospital employers can reduce challenges that increase the staff’s risk of injury and illness.
  • Safety & Health Management Systems: It is a complete management system that helps create and regulate economic practices of safety to reduce the chances of injury.
  • Safe Patient Handling: It promotes the use of programs, policies, and equipment that cost-effectively eliminates the causes of workplace injuries.
  •  Workplace Violence Prevention Program: The program addresses the reasons that can lead to violence in healthcare facilities.

Wrapping Up

Healthcare workers are at the most risk of injuries and contracting viral diseases because they are constantly exposed to different types of patients. Due to this reason, the US government has granted several rights to the medical staff to protect their mental and physical well-being.

Staying informed on the regulations can ensure health workers provide good treatment while protecting themselves. Medical staff can learn more about their privileges by accessing resources on certified platforms, such as WHO, OSHA, and IFHHRO. These platforms also have several training programs that medical centers can use to educate their staff.

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