In the healthcare industry, nurses play an important role in patient care and support.
However, their demanding job comes with its fair share of workplace injuries. These injuries can have a significant impact on both the nurse’s well-being and the quality of patient care.
1. Musculoskeletal injuries
One of the most prevalent workplace injuries among nurses is musculoskeletal injuries, which account for 52% of missed days of work due to workplace injuries. These injuries occur due to the frequent lifting and transferring of patients, as well as the extended periods of standing and walking. When nurses lift or move patients incorrectly, it can strain their back, shoulders and neck, leading to chronic pain and discomfort.
2. Needlestick injuries
Nurses are at risk of needlestick injuries, which happen when a needle punctures their skin. This typically occurs during procedures involving needles, such as injections and IV insertions. Needlestick injuries can expose nurses to bloodborne pathogens like HIV and hepatitis.
3. Slips, trips and falls
Nurses often work in fast-paced environments where they need to move quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, this can lead to slips, trips and falls, especially when floors are wet or cluttered. These incidents can result in injuries like sprains, fractures or head trauma.
4. Burns and chemical exposures
Nurses working in healthcare settings may encounter various chemicals and equipment that can cause burns or chemical exposures. For instance, accidental spills of hot liquids, exposure to disinfectants or contact with caustic substances can lead to injuries.
Ensuring proper training, adhering to safety protocols and using protective measures can go a long way in preventing these injuries and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for nurses.