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Home Health Safety Tips Your Job Every day many employees


Home Health Safety Tips Your Job Every day many employees step out of their offices and into the homes of families in crisis. Considering the reality, are you ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Home Health Safety Tips Your Job Every day many employees

Home Health Safety Tips
Your Job
  • Every day many employees step out of their
    offices and into the homes of families in crisis.
    Considering the reality, are you prepared to
    minimize the risk of becoming victims of harm?

Its an open secret working in anothers home is
a dangerous profession. It is an uncontrollable
Your Attitude
  • Attitude plays a large factor in your personal
  • Employees often resist thinking of clients as
    potentially threatening.
  • The overwhelming majority of clients are
    nonviolent. But if an incident of violence
    occurs, the agency gets more focused.

Before a Home Visit
  • Confirm with clients by phone before you visit.
  • Obtain detailed directions to a new client's
  • Pull onto the shoulder or into a parking lot
    rather than trying to simultaneously drive, talk
    on the phone and read directions.
  • Home visits should be made with the full
    knowledge of your agency supervisortime of
    departure, time of return, other activities while
    on the trip, and so on.

Before a Home Visit
  • Keep your car in good working order and the gas
    tank full.
  • Keep your car windows closed and your doors
  • Lock your bag in the trunk (purse and briefcase).
  • Have an extra set of keys in case you lock yours
    in the car.
  • Have a safety plan in place (include precautions
    and confrontation plans).

Before a Home Visit
  • Give serious consideration to the street,
    neighborhood, or area where the family lives. You
    might want to exercise extra caution.
  • If you are driving into a high-crime area and see
    activity near a client's home that scares you,
    drive a few blocks away, and then call your
    client and/or supervisor to find out how to
  • Do not conduct a home visit when you feel
    uncomfortable or threatened, and return to the
    agency and report your experience.

Before a Home Visit
  • If you believe you are not adequately prepared to
    provide a service or intervention, address the
    concern with your agency field instructor or
  • How important is the visit? Does it have to be
    conducted at that moment? If you have a bad
    feeling about a situation, call your supervisor
    or the police. Never go into a situation where
    you feel you'll be unsafe.

Initial Home Visit
  • Identify potential safety risks while in the
  • Remain alert and observant.
  • Listen outside the door for any disturbances,
    such as screaming or fighting.
  • When knocking on the door, stand to the side, not
    in front of it. Introduce yourself clearly,
    letting the family know who you are and why you
    are there.
  • Introduce yourself clearly, letting the family
    know who you are and why you are there.
  • Start with a safety assessment
  • Learn all you can about the familys historyhave
    they had violent encounters with the police,
    schools, or social services?
  • Is there a history of mental illness in the
    family? Some of these details will be noted in
    agency records. For others, you may have to
    consult informal sources, such as your
    supervisor, co-workers, or colleagues from other
  • Note if the people youre speaking with are
  • Scan the environment for any weapons and note any
    drug paraphernalia.
  • If you feel threatened in a home, leave

De-escalation Tips
  • Never take risks with a client who becomes
  • Eliminate objects in your environment that can be
    thrown or used as weapons.    
  • Appear calm, centered, and self-assured even if
    you dont feel it.
  • Speak in a low, monotonous tone of voice.
  • Do not get loud or try to yell over a screaming
    person. Wait until he or she takes a breath then
  • Do not be defensive. Even if the comments or
    insults are directed against you, they are not
    about you.
  • Be respectful, even when setting limits firmly or
    calling for help.

De-escalation Tips
  • Never turn your back for any reason.
  • Always be at the same eye level, but do not
    maintain constant eye contact.
  • Allow extra physical space between you.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets.
  • Empathize with feelings, but not with the
    behavior. Do not interpret the clients feelings
    in an analytic way do not argue or try to
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel the
    de-escalation isnt working, STOP! Tell the
    person to leave, call for help, or leave the room
    and seek assistance.
  • Never carry risk alone!

Employer Responsibility
  • Establish a worker safety manual that explains
    policies and procedures, and establish
    cooperative safety protocols with other
    organizations you work with.
  • Affirm to all staff it is okay to ask for help.
  • Establish a worker safety committee.
  • Develop a team approach or buddy system in cases
    in which a client has a history of violent
  • Give a clear consistent message to clients that
    using violence to solve problems is not
    acceptable, and help clients learn nonviolent
    strategies to resolve their problems.

Animal Safety
  • Never touch an animal! Even the friendliest pets
    can turn on you.
  • Be aware that animals can distract you and
    interfere with your work.
  • If necessary, as that animals be kept away during
    your visit.

Health Safety
  • Always practice good body mechanics.
  • Take full advantage of transfer systems and other
    assistive devices.
  • Work at a steady pace and incorporate some
    flexibility in your daily schedule so you are not
    tempted to take injury-inducing shortcuts.

Watch Your Step
  • Do not remove your shoes in a clients home.
    This will reduce the chance of slips and
  • To be culturally sensitive to clients who prefer
    their guests go shoeless, wear disposable
    surgical shoe covers, or leave a clean pair of
    shoes at the house to wear only there.
  • Be ware of household hazards like slippery
    bathroom floors or open cupboards,
  • Be cautious of uneven walking surfaces.
  • Always evaluate a porch and entry steps prior to
    walking or sitting.

Keep Your Guard Up
  • Above all, never let your guard downand stay out
    of denial.
  • Unlike the controlled environment of a hospital,
    working in patients' homes is unpredictable, so
    you must stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Patient homes are a constant variable
    environment. You never know what you're going to

Final Thoughts
  • Do not get carried away. Most of the families
    that you visit on a daily basis are not a threat.
  • Trust Your Instinct!

  • http//www.socialworker.com/home/Feature_Articles/
  • http//sswnt7.sowo.unc.edu/fcrp/Cspn/vol3_no2/main
  • http//www.socialworker.com/home/Feature_Articles/
  • http//career-advice.monster.com/workplace-product
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