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Nurse Injuries Archives

Myths about patient handling techniques

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.

Injuries suffered by mental health workers

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.

What is occupational asthma and how is it treated?

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.

Needle and sharps injuries still a problem for nurses

Nurses face the threat of many occupational injuries and illnesses. One of the most common of those threats is that posed by sharp instruments, including needles, scalpels, and other sharp instruments. The danger comes not so much from the actual puncture wound itself but from the possibility of contracting an infection such as HIV or hepatitis. Growing concern over the possibility of infections from bloodborne pathogens in the 1980s and 1990s led Congress to enact the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA) in 2000.

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