Safety in Community Settings
Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing
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For the promotion of safety while in community-focused nursing practice courses, please follow the guidelines listed below:
- Community Health Visits:
- Wear a uniform or designated dress, student I.D., name tag, and minimal jewelry.
- Carry only a sufficient amount of money for the day's needs. Important papers, etc., should be locked in your trunk before leaving home. Keep your cell phone handy for emergency use only.
- Be in the field only during daylight hours and at those times specifically assigned. Report to the instructor when departing for and returning from your assignment.
- Visit only those clients at addresses that have been approved by your instructor.
- Leave with the instructor a list of the families or organization and the sequence in which you will visit prior to your departure. This list includes full name, exact address, apartment number, and phone number. If the family has a phone, telephone that family prior to your visit to confirm visit.
- Phone your instructor for approval prior to any change in sequence or if you find the family is at another address. Under no circumstances, should you go to any address or apartment that is not on your list without approval from the instructor, at least by telephone.
- Check with the instructor for the exact location of your destination and review the exact transportation you will use prior to departure.
- Walk briskly with a sense of purpose. Never loiter. Obtain clear directions prior to departure for the visit. Consult a map, the client, police, or post office department. Know exactly where you are going. After departure, if in doubt, ask a storekeeper, police officer, postman, or any official agency representative.
- Walk on the curb side of the street, avoid doorways and alleyways.
- Use streets that are active and busy and contain residences rather than deserted, dimly lit streets with quiet warehouses and bar areas.
- Speak to storekeepers and those neighborhood people you see each week. Identify yourself and the agency you represent. Familiarize yourself with the geography of the neighborhood and the locations of "safe" places.
- Notice which shops have phones you could use in an emergency.
- Under no circumstances should you enter any building when observation or intuition tells you something is “not right”. Call the agency or the instructor or the police - 911 will put you in direct emergency contact with the police in the town or neighborhood in which you find yourself.
- Should anyone demand your property during a robbery, give it up and proceed to the most active situation at hand (traffic, neighborhood store, health center, police or fire department. Report all frightening experiences to the police, your instructor, and the College of Nursing at (561) 297-6261.
- Should you at any time, for any reason, feel unsafe or frightened, call the Police, 911- and request assistance. Also notify your instructor and the College of Nursing at (561) 297-6261.
- Should anyone confront you or follow you in an unfriendly manner, seek the assistance of the closest individual on foot or in a motor vehicle. This will attract attention to you. Do not, however, enter any vehicle other than a public bus, licensed cab, or police car.
- In the event any unusual incident occurs, proceed into the most active situation available, the police precinct, fire house, neighborhood store, social service or health agency, school, housing project office, or board a bus.
- Use a phone in any one of these places to call the agency or, if indicated, 911 the police. Maintain a list of Police Dept. non-emergency numbers or information requests. Identify yourself, the agency you represent, where you are, and the problem.
- Students are responsible for adhering to all safety guidelines for external assignments.
- Students should make community visits in pairs if possible.
- When arriving or leaving the clinical agency (including utilizing the parking lot) you should:
- Lock all doors when leaving car. You should not remain in a parked car.
- Know the designated area for parking.
- Park in well lighted designated areas.
- Leave the agency with the group or ask for an escort to your car.
- Personal Safety is a priority.
- Help is a phone call away - 911 or university telephone 297-6261.
- A police cruiser can reach you in minutes.
- Your best protection is to:
- Know your neighborhood resources
- Know the neighborhood people
- Have the neighborhood know you in your professional role