The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the endurance and courage of healthcare workers to ensure the public health system can cope with the increased number of patients requiring critical care, whether in the hospital or at home.
In this current situation, there are still healthcare staff working out in the community who are essential to the health and wellbeing of their patients.
While family are also self-isolating or in quarantine, healthcare workers are relied on to provide medication, medical check-ups, rehabilitation services and maintain hygiene practices in their role as carer.
Thousands of healthcare workers across Australia use a MePACS duress alarm to keep them safe while at work.
With over 30 years’ experience in emergency response, MePACS gives healthcare workers peace of mind as they work alone in the community, knowing help is always available with the MePACS 24/7 emergency response service.
Lone Worker Safety for Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers can work remotely in a number of different locations and departments:
- Aged Care
- Hospital in the Home (HITH)
- Rehabilitation in the Home (RITH)
- Palliative Care
- Maternal Health and Midwifery
- Youth Services
- Allied Health
- Mental Health
Every worker in any of these areas should be able to feel safe and secure when they work alone, visiting a member of the community or arrive at an unfamiliar residence.
Verbal and physical aggression in the workplace can significantly affect a healthcare worker’s productivity, emotional stability and overall wellbeing. If someone feels threatened while simply doing their job, it can have a detrimental affect on their mental health and home life as well.
Prioritising the safety of lone workers in Mental Health
For lone workers who visit clients with ill mental health, safety is of the utmost importance. Not only should the client feel safe, supported and comfortable in their presence, but the lone worker themselves should also have help at hand if their client is distressed.
A personal alarm can help the mental health of lone workers and their clients by providing a quick and reliable way to signal for help, with the peace of mind that someone is guaranteed to answer at any time of the day or night.
If a healthcare worker in mental health feels threatened while out in the community, a MePACS duress alarm offers help with simply one touch of a button – giving that extra security while they work alone.
Supporting lone workers in health services
Staff at Clinical Labs have praised the MePACS response team for their quick and precise actions whenever a signal for help is sent.
Sarah is a Pathology Collector at Clinical Labs and works alone at a local clinic.
“If I could give my colleagues any advice, it would be that the MePACS alarm has to be the first thing you put on when you walk into the office each day and don’t hesitate to press it,” she said.
“At the end of the day you want to go home to your family.”
Over 90% of MePACS Duress clients say they feel more supported by their organisation when offered a duress alarm.
How does a MePACS Duress Alarm work?
A MePACS duress alarm is roughly the size of a credit card. It can be attached to your person with a lanyard around your neck or a belt clip to your pants. The alarm is completely waterproof, has a GPS locator and works anywhere with mobile coverage in Australia, which is indicated by flashing lights – green for good coverage, and orange for no coverage.
With two-way communication, the healthcare worker can speak directly to a monitor from the MePACS 24/7 emergency response service within two minutes. Listening to information about the situation, the monitor can assess what level of help is needed and call the appropriate contact, whether that may be a supervisor, security or an emergency service.
In healthcare, MePACS duress alarms are often shared by a team. If you are using a shared device, you are required to check in to the response centre before every shift. The operator will ask for your name and mobile phone number, which can help with identifying where you are in an emergency situation.
How can a duress alarm help with a client’s welfare?
Ideally, the client should have a MePACS personal alarm to help them feel safe and secure in their own home. A healthcare worker may press their own duress alarm and speak to the MePACS 24/7 emergency response service if their patient needs help. A MePACS monitor can assess the situation and call the most appropriate help, including emergency services.