The important issues are whether a known or potential risk is likely to occur, if it will be significant should it occur, and whether the organization is adequately prepared to handle it so that the negative effects are eliminated or minimized.
When we have any new admission on the ward, the first thing we find out from the staff handing over to us is if the patients are infectious. So I’ll say the processes of carrying out a risk assessment are
• REVIEW: We check if the patients have any infection or if they have the potential of developing an infection. For example someone coming to us with a leg ulcer and it is an open wound; we will definitely want to be more careful as to what the patients is exposed too. Also if a patient suddenly starts to vomit and having stool, we will want to know whets going on.
• IDENTIFY; having review a patient, we shall try and identify the type of infection they might have by sending a sample out to the laboratory, or by screening the patients for infection such as MRSA.
• PLAN: When we know the type of infection we are dealing with then we put in place a plan to minimize the spread of the infection, either we put them in the side room with a sign on the outside warning of infection, or we do barrier nursing and then treating with the necessary medication. Limiting unprotected exposure to pathogens, limiting transmission of infections associated with procedures, limiting transmission of infections associated with use of medical equipment, devices, and supplies and improving compliance to hand washing.
• RECORD/DOCUMENT: It is always a good practice and also a legal responsibility to proper documentation of any risk assessment carried out as this will help in the further and review of the situation and also we would have fulfilled the legal requirement.
• REVIEW: We check the progress o the assessment made, see what have changed, what else needed to be done