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Strategy Submission

S-A-F-E-T-Y Card: Safe Assessment and Infection Control “Must Know” Information


Angela D. Jones



Assistant Professor



Stephen F. Austin State University


Competency Categories:


Learner Level(s):

Pre-Licensure ADN/Diploma, Pre-Licensure BSN

Learner Setting(s):

Clinical Setting, Skills or Simulation Laboratories

Strategy Type:

General Strategy

Learning Objectives:

Safety: (K) The student will correctly identify elements associated with standard and transmission-based precautions to promote infection control in the clinical setting. (S) The student will demonstrate reduced reliance on memory by using the S-A-F-E-T-Y! card to assist with safety assessment and infection control. (A) The student will discuss their role in promoting patient safety during clinical experiences.

Strategy Overview:

The S-A-F-E-T-Y! card is a clinical tool to promote quality, safe care specifically designed for the beginning prelicensure nursing student. As students begin to establish a knowledge base of information necessary to promote safe and effective care, the card serves as a reminder of the essential safety and infection control components. The S-A-F-E-T-Y card is intended for student use with each clinical experience (laboratory, simulation, and clinical settings). The safety information contained on the card is common to nursing practice providing a reminder of the key elements to assess and implement during the first encounter. The infection control card is based on the current Center for Disease Control and Prevention transmission-based precautions for promoting basic infection control (2016). The concept of infection control is new to the beginning student and often an area overlooked in healthcare. The goal of adding the infection control information to the S-A-F-E-T-Y! the card is to provide a quick reference for beginning nursing students as they establish a sound knowledge base necessary for promoting quality, safe patient care. Directions for use: The S-A-F-E-T-Y card and the Infection Control card are printed on the front and back of card stock and are laminated for student use in all clinical settings (laboratory, simulation, and with actual patients). The S-A-F-E-T-Y card is given to students at the beginning of the first clinical course and can be used throughout the nursing curriculum as a reminder of basic care principles. Please note: When printing, you will need to print the S-A-F-E-T-Y card and then turn the paper over and print the Infection Control card on the back. This will yield four cards per standard sheet of paper. Student Instructions: The S-A-F-E-T-Y card is to be kept in your pocket for all clinical experiences serving as a reminder of essential elements to promote safe patient care. The intent is to improve patient safety by reducing reliance on your memory. The S-A-F-E-T-Y card is primarily intended for use upon initial entry in the patient room. This will help remind you of the necessary safety assessments and patient education. The infection control side of the S-A-F-E-T-Y card functions to remind you of basic infection control principles that you may need throughout your clinical rotation. This information is common to nursing practice and addresses standard, contact, droplet, and airborne precautions. It provides you with a brief overview of each precaution, the population it is appropriate for, and the personal protective equipment included for each type of precaution.

Additional Materials:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, January 6). Infection control basics: Transmission-based precautions.

Evaluation Description:

The concepts contained on the S-A-F-E-T-Y card are associated with basic standards of care and are not new ideas; however, to the beginning nursing student, the information is new and can be overwhelming and easily overlooked. The S-A-F-E-T-Y card reduces reliance on memory while also encouraging students to value their role in high quality, safe patient care. Because students are encouraged to use the S-A-F-E-T-Y card with each clinical experience, instructors have the opportunity to use this as a point of conversation and to provide immediate student feedback relating to safe and effective care. Evaluation strategies related to student learning are associated with the formative evaluation and take place in the clinical setting. Verbal dialogue between the clinical faculty and the student with specific questions targeting the learning objectives allows the clinical faculty to evaluate student performance. This also provides an opportunity for immediate feedback as needed with the goal of promoting patient safety.
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