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March, 2007: Take Stock

March can be a windy, cold and winter’s-last-hurrah kind of month.  It is also a month for healthcare professionals to take stock.  March is Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month.  Precautions must always be on our minds as healthcare workers – for our safety and our patients’.  Be sure to use PPE (personal protective equipment) which depending upon your assignment may include safety glasses.
            4-10 March is National Patient Safety Week.  What can we do to help ensure the safety of those under our care or for whom we care who may be hospitalized?
            The best thing to do is to provide instruction and educational material that will inform and remind us about what it feels like to be confined to a hospital bed, for example.  Well, how is that hazardous?  Many patients will want to rise from the bed before they are able or authorized by physicians to do so.  They can fall or become hurt in other ways. 
            Because March is also National Brain Injury Awareness Month, we can relay such knowledge to bedridden patients and to fellow staff.  From using a seat belt while in a vehicle to using caution when stepping into or out of a tub or shower, we can raise awareness of what can happen to people who have serious head injuries.
            Both National Nutrition and National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month fall in March 2007.  How fortuitous!  We can make our meals more nutritious and also reduce the possibility of colon cancer!  By eating a varied diet full of fiber, wholegrains, vegetables and fruit, we are likely to reduce this often devastating form of cancer.  Additionally, recent research seems to show that black tea if you drink it daily can also have a “protective” effect.
            In short, March is not a short month and it is bound to bring stormy weather.  But we can be ready for anything that can affect health if we arm ourselves with knowledge.