Health & Safety Violations
A yes answer to any of the following questions may suggest that your employer is cutting corners on health and safety standards, and is thereby placing you or the patients at risk. As you consider these questions, remember that if your employer is engaged in illegal or unethical behavior, the women who come to your clinic can be emotionally and physically scarred for the rest of their lives. Because these women trusted you with their health and safety at a very vulnerable time in their lives, you have an ethical and moral obligation to take these issues seriously.
- Are bio hazardous waste products (bloody materials, uterine contents, aborted fetuses, etc.) ever discarded in containers not specifically intended for biological waste, or otherwise discarded in a non-approved manner (thrown into a dumpster, put in a garbage disposal, flushed down the sewer system, etc.)?
- Are body fluids and blood products handled in a way that would increase the possibility of an employee contracting Hepatitis or HIV?
- Has the clinic management ever refused to provide employees with Hepatitis B vaccinations?
- Are surgical instruments ever cleaned without being sterilized?
- Are disposable cannulas, speculums, tubing, or gloves ever reused?
- Is laminaria ever reused?
- Are procedures past 13 weeks ever done using manual dilators alone?
- Is there a deficiency in emergency equipment or procedures?
- Is there an unusual protocol for requesting an ambulance?
- Are patient medical records ever altered, destroyed, or discarded?
- Does clinic procedure include listing a nurse who was not at the clinic at the time of the procedure?
- Does the doctor ever leave the building before all patients are dismissed?
- Are abortions ever performed without first using a sonogram to accurately determine gestational age?
- Are patients’ vital signs ever skipped or simply made up?
- Is general anesthesia ever administered by staff members who are not either an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist?
- Are controlled substances ever secured improperly? Also, are blank prescription pads ever signed by a physician (or another legally authorized person) and then left in an environment where they can be filled-out and dispensed by employees who are not legally authorized to write prescriptions? (Never overlook drug use by clinic staff. There are plenty of opportunities in any medical clinic for employees to have access to drugs, and any abuse of drugs puts both patients and staff at risk. Protect yourself and report any misuse of drugs taking place in your clinic or by clinic personnel.)