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Chemotherapy Safe Handling

Healthcare professionals are always under pressure to provide the best healthcare services to patients. Not just that, but they are also at risk of grave danger when exposed to chemotherapeutic drugs. These nurses and doctors are constantly in contact with hazardous drugs, which can be very damaging to their well-being. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations need to train their nursing staff about hazardous drug safety protocols to save their lives and the lives of those around them.

Handling Hazardous Drugs

Many nurses fail to understand the dangers that come with improper handling of hazardous drugs. For instance, these drugs can cause severe side effects, such as reproductive problems, genetic makeup damage, and even cancer. The less dangerous consequences include skin rashes. It is very important to reduce health risks for the clinical staff. Safety is only achievable if the nursing staff handles the drugs in the best ways possible. Here are some precautions to ensure safety:

Closed System Drug Transfer

IV Taping is very important on all tube connection sites, and nurses should not use an IV container with venting tubes. Moreover, the IV sets nurses use should not be used until and unless the pharmacy has primed them.

High Ventilation

To capture aerosols, hospitals need to have ventilated cabinets, so they can easily filter the contaminated air using the HEPA system. The system re-circulates the air and pushes some of it outdoors. The traditional cabinets are not safe enough to store hazardous drugs.

PPE

Using the right and complete personal protective equipment is very important. There are several components of a PPE that nurses must use in order to ensure safety. Here is the list of equipment needed:

Gowns

When dealing with hazardous drugs, nurses should use disposable gowns so that no part of the nurse’s body is exposed to the drug. It is important to wear a PPE gown, as the scrubs are not enough.

Gloves

The right kind of gloves made from high-quality material is essential, so your skin does not get exposed when administering the drug. Hospitals can look for gloves that pass the manufacturer test.

Eye and Face Shields

Administering the drug can cause irritation and even permanent or long-term damage. This is why it is best to wear an eye and face shield to protect yourself from any exposure.

Masks

Using the right kind of masks will help you prevent drug exposure and save you from breathing in the fumes of hazardous drugs. Using a surgical mask is not enough, and you may have to pair it up with an N-95 mask.

Additional Coverage

Other than basic PPE, you may also need to cover your hair, shoes, and sleeves for maximum protection.

Proper Disposal

Last but not least, disposing of PPE is crucial. You must dispose of it after one use, and in the right way, so no one else is exposed to the PPE.