If you are a nurse, chances are you know of several people in your line of work that have suffered a workplace injury. Perhaps you have been injured in the course of completing your job duties. It's no doubt that the medical care field is full of potentially hazardous conditions that can cause workplace injuries.
In the United States, the nursing industry leads workplace injuries. Here are the top causes of injury to nurses and how to lessen the risk of becoming an injury statistic.
Lifting and transferring patients is one of the most common causes of injury in the medical profession. These physical tasks are often performed several times per day with a large caseload of patients. To have the best chance of avoiding a musculoskeletal lifting injury, make sure that you are following best practices for lifting safety. Team lift as much as possible, and learn how to use patient handling equipment to reduce manual lifting.
Exposure to Needles
A poke from a needle that has been used on a patient can have serious health consequences. Needles may contain bodily fluids carrying certain viruses like HIV, or some of the remaining injection substance could be a medication that's hazardous to others. Unfortunately, needle sticks are a common medical workplace injury. When working with needles, be careful, take your time and focus on the task at hand. To reduce the risk of suffering an accidental needle stick, do not attempt to recap used needles and promptly dispose of them in a proper container.
Repetitive motions performed throughout a shift can cause overexertion of joints and bring on injury over time. This type of problem gets worse when an employer does not adequately staff a facility and workers are asked to do more with a smaller number of team members. If working conditions at your facility make it difficult to stay healthy and injury free, you may need to look for employment where worker safety is a priority.
Slips and Falls
Slip-and-fall accidents happen without warning, but can be prevented when everyone takes the time to clean up spills and perform their jobs correctly. To help save others from falling on wet flooring, clean up spills promptly and ask others to do the same. Remind the maintenance staff to post wet floor signs after they have mopped an area.
If you are a nurse who suffers an injury at work, it is important to take care of yourself, so your injury does not get worse. Get the medical care you need from your employer's workers' compensation program so you can begin to heal.