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A guide to situational awareness

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Nurses are bombarded with a number of different ta Nurses are bombarded with a number of different tasks and they must be able to manage them safely

Nurses in primary care are present from the first contact with patients and are responsible for establishing regular, continued, and integrated care. However, with an ever-expanding role and so much going on in the workplace, how can nurses possibly keep up?

Primary care nurses must have an understanding of the needs of patients, family members, physicians and healthcare environments. The responsibility of nurses today is no longer limited to vulnerable patient populations or groups with unmet health needs. They need to provide patient-focused care and contribute to bringing better value to the rising demand and costs of healthcare. Situational awareness (SA) can help them achieve this.

SA in primary care nursing
SA is a concept that originated in aviation training and is often used to reveal potential issues in healthcare quality and increase patient safety. It is about being fully engaged and aware of one’s environment and any current or potential dangers to health and safety in that moment – either to the self or others.


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