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Hazards nurses face while they’re at work

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Nurses provide critical care and support to patients across various settings, but this profession has risks and hazards. All nurses should be able to count on having a safe workplace so they don’t suffer injuries on the job.

On-the-job hazards for nurses can range from physical injuries to exposure to infectious diseases. These all demand attention and mitigation strategies to ensure their health and safety.

Sharps incidents

Sharps incidents occur when sharp medical instruments, including needles, pierce the skin. This puts the nurse at risk of transmitting infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Sharps injuries can result from various activities, including administering injections, drawing blood or disposing of used needles. Implementing strict protocols for the handling and disposal of sharps, along with the use of safety-engineered devices, are critical measures in reducing these incidents.

Slip and falls

Another common hazard is slip and fall accidents, which can occur due to wet floors, cluttered workspaces or hurried movements. These incidents can result in minor injuries or more severe harm such as fractures or head injuries. Ensuring that work areas are clean, dry and free of obstacles and wearing appropriate footwear can significantly decrease the risk of these accidents.

Moving and lifting patients

The physical demands of moving and lifting patients may lead to musculoskeletal injuries. These injuries can occur from repetitive movements, heavy lifting, or awkward postures. Adopting safe patient handling practices, such as using mechanical lifts and transfer devices, alongside proper training in manual handling techniques, can mitigate these risks.

Injured nurses may be tempted to continue working so they can care for patients; however, they should recognize that they need medical attention. Putting off getting care can lead to worsened injuries. Workers’ compensation should cover The care they require, but they may have to fight for their due benefits.