Nurses have dangerous jobs even when they have proper safety protocol on the job site. There are some risks that can be reduced but not eliminated. It is imperative that any company employing nurses take steps to ensure that these vital workers can do their job as safely as possible.
The rate at which nurses suffer injuries is troubling. Because of this, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration has taken steps to keep them protected. For nurses, learning about some of the most common injuries might help to reduce their occurrences.
Moving and lifting patients
Adult patients are often heavy, so it isn’t any surprise that using incorrect body mechanics when moving and helping them can lead to injuries. In order to combat this, nurses should ensure they use assistive devices when they are available. Having someone else help can also reduce the chance of something happening.
Unfortunately, nurses who suffer injuries while moving a patient might not realize it right away. These injuries are sometimes minor, but they are cumulative, so you may notice the impacts as time progresses.
Allergen and chemical exposure
Nurses can sometimes become allergic to latex and other substances they use while they’re working. These can cause skin allergies and conditions. Even the frequent handwashing they have to do can lead to dermatitis.
Some nurses are exposed to radiation, chemotherapy drugs and other chemicals that aren’t considered safe for a healthy person to come into contact with. They can minimize the chance of these exposures by using appropriate personal protective equipment.
Caring for sick individuals means that nurses are sometimes exposed to infectious diseases. These can include things like the common cold and influenza, but it also involves HIV, tuberculosis and other very serious diseases. The exposure can come from person-to-person contact, but needle sticks are another possible cause.
Nurses can reduce the chance that they will suffer from one of these diseases by using protective equipment and by following best practices when dealing with patients who have them. Immunizations can also help prevent them from contracting certain diseases.
One thing that nurses should never do is ignore their injuries in order to continue caring for their patients. You can’t properly care for another person if you aren’t in the shape to do so safely. Instead, get the care you need for your injuries so that you’ll be able to return to caring for your patients once you’ve healed. You may need to seek workers’ compensation coverage to help cover the costs of care and provide you with partial wage replacement until you can return to work.