When patients arrive for medical care, managing their acute injury or illness is far from a nurses' only concern. A nurse knows that the potential for their own injury or illness while providing care is a clear and present danger, but the dangers often go unrecognized.
What's the leading cause of non-fatal injuries requiring days off work in the health care and social assistance industry? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it's violent assaults. Nurses working in every department of healthcare institutions face the risk of being assaulted, but it's especially a problem in emergency rooms. Over 70% of emergency room nurses reported suffering physical assaults, threats of assault or verbal abuse.
Health care workers face their share of workplace job hazards that may lead to injury, most notably overexertion along with slips and falls. But one area that sometimes gets overlooked is workplace violence, which has become a major issue.
Though they may not know it, many healthcare workers are regularly exposed to glutaraldehyde. When inhaled in sufficient quantities or accidently ingested, this disinfectant can result in adverse health effects. In this blog post, we will discuss the effects of glutaraldehyde exposure and some things healthcare workers can do to protect themselves.
It is a common story for nurses in Colorado and across the country: Back injuries resulting from the job do not result in adequate workers' compensation coverage.
Nurses are at risk for injuries on the job in many ways. As a profession, it has one of the highest rates of workplace injuries due to overexertion, falls, and exposure. Yet there are even more hazards on the job that nurses may not even be aware of.
It's no secret that one of the most dangerous jobs is nursing.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), health care workers (nurses, nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants) suffer musculoskeletal injuries at a rate seven times that of workers in other occupations. This is far higher than workers in other physically demanding industries such as construction, mining, and warehousing. Health care employers incur $20 billion in direct and indirect costs related to musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace.
Workers in psychiatric and mental health facilities face a variety of hazards on the job. Among the most serious of these are assaults by patients and injuries sustained while subduing out-of-control patients. In the opinion of one California psychiatrist, violent assaults happen on a daily basis in most inpatient mental health facilities. He tempers that by saying that just 15 percent of psychiatric patients are responsible for 90 percent of the violence. But even criminally-violent patients are given a surprising amount of freedom. This exposes workers to significant risks.
Asthma: Anyone who has it or knows someone who suffers from the affliction is aware of asthma's frightening effects. Out of the blue, an asthma sufferer can start coughing, wheezing or gasping for breath. Often, a sufferer must stop everything he or she is doing and seek relief from an inhaler. When an asthma attack happens to a person who is performing a critical function such as driving or operating heavy equipment, it could result in a serious accident.