Nurses perform a variety of essential duties caring for patients, often at the expense of their own well-being. In fact, nursing can be considered a particularly dangerous occupation due to the number of risks and occupational hazards these health care professionals face.
What are some common injuries for nurses?
You may not realize it initially, but nursing is a physically demanding job. Most nurses must lift and transport patients, in addition to other responsibilities, which both can lead to a variety of injuries including:
- Back injuries including lower back pain and associated injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Overexertion/repetitive stress
- Needle sticks
- Slip and falls
These are just a few of the more common physical injuries that nurses face while at work.
What other hazards do nurses face?
Beyond the more obvious physical occupational hazards, nurses can face a variety of additional risks while on the job. Between the emotional and mental stress of the job and potential violence and abuse many healthcare workers suffer, there are many threats for nurses at work.
According to the CDC there are over 18 million healthcare workers in the United States. Of that, nearly 80 percent are women. The CDC has also reported that these workers are at a higher risk of non-fatal occupational injury and illness than workers in other industries.
What can be done?
While most healthcare industries and employers take effective safety measures to protect nurses and other medical professionals at work, there is always room for error. In addition, the under-staffing of clinics and other healthcare facilities combined with long hours and shifts may contribute to these risk factors.
If you or a loved one in a health care profession is injured while at work, you can pursue workers’ compensation to help you recover.