Continued efforts by ANA to enhance healthcare worker safety resulted in the formation of a sharps injury stakeholder’s group in 2015. The group meets quarterly via conference calls to network and share information and ideas for collaboration related to sharps injury programming, research, and surveillance. The stakeholder group, co-chaired by Karen Daley, immediate past president of ANA, and Angela Laramie, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, consists of experts actively engaged in sharps injury surveillance and prevention efforts, including representatives from professional organizations, academic researchers, labor organizations, government agencies, manufacturers, and specialty nursing associations.
Topics of group discussion over the past year have included:
- proposed updates to ANA’s sharps injury prevention web page
- the wide and often confusing range of terminology used to describe devices with engineered sharps injury prevention features, along with stakeholder group recommendations for consistent terminology
- recently introduced World Health Organization guidelines for use of devices with sharps injury and reuse prevention technology
- sharps injury risks for home health workers
- current state of sharps injuries in the perioperative setting
- ongoing compliance gaps with the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act.
A snapshot of survey data from ANA’s Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) related to sharps injury prevention was also presented by ANA staff in June 2015. Findings indicated that sharps injuries continue to rank among the top four stressors identified by HRA survey participants and that only about one-third of nurse respondents were involved in the process of device selection and evaluation. (See Spotlight on the Health Risk Appraisal for a sample of data as of March 2016.)
Spotlight on the Health Risk Appraisal
92.51% – “I have access to sharps safety devices.”
75.95% – “My facility has a sharps injury prevention program.”
33.5% “I am involved in the selection and evaluation of sharps safety devices”
*Results as of March 2016, n = 6,385 RNs who responded that sharps/needlestick prevention is applicable to current duties.
Take the HRA at http://nursingworld.org/HRA-Executive-Summary.
In addition to hosting quarterly conference calls, ANA has established a page for the group on the ANA Community website to facilitate further networking and discussion. Dialogue from this group will inform ANA’s future programmatic work related to sharps injury prevention. To learn more about ANA initiatives related to the health and safety of nurses and to access the HRA executive summary, visit www.nursingworld.org.
Karen Daley is immediate past president of ANA, and Angela Laramie is the project coordinator for sharps injury prevention and surveillance at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston.