Policies, procedures and agreed ways of working are written according to best practice guidelines. Adherence to these ensures that these guidelines are followed and care is standardised. Policies define clinical care, procedures it's practice and ways of working the way in which it is delivered. Agreed ways of working facilitate team based working by standardising the provision of education and training.
I am being paid to do a job for my employer. If I do not follow their agreed ways of working I could cause harm to myself or others and could find myself subject to capability or disciplinary procedures which could lead to dismissal or even prosecution if I break the law.
The agreed ways of working are intended to clearly define the role of each healthcare worker and to protect them from working outside of their scope of practice. By not following these, the particular role of the healthcare worker no longer becomes defined. This may results in inappropriate decisions and delivery of the healthcare, potentially placing the patient at risk. Agreed ways of working also encourage professional development, allowing the healthcare worker to understand their exact role in the workplace and to undergo training to facilitate the provision of this.
Up to date policies, procedures and agreed ways of working can be found on the revelant ward or clinical area to which they pertain. Some can also be found on the hospital intranet. Policies and procedures are essential pieces of information that will support me in my own role and will enable me to work professionally and safely.