Nurses work in hospitals, schools, clinics, doctor’s offices, elder care facilities, and private homes. But, no matter where a nurse works, there is something they all have in common: Nurses have a high risk of on-the-job injury.
Nurses often find it easy to care for others, and not focus so much on their own well being. In this article, we discuss common nursing injuries and how they can be prevented.
Nurses handle a variety of sharp objects: scalpels, needles, scissors. While a small cut may not seem like a big deal, any opening in the skin can become infected. Since nurses are exposed to a wide range of bacteria and viruses, all cuts should be disinfected and covered with a bandage.
There are many ways a nurse can be burned on-the-job. Nurses use machines—sterilizers and autoclaves—that are extremely hot. But there is also a risk of being burned while serving a patient coffee or hot food. Slow down around hot objects. Know the dangers of any machinery you use and whether there are workplace chemicals that can cause burns. If you are burned, get immediate medical attention.
Ankle and Foot Injuries
As a nurse, you spend a lot of your day on your feet. Wearing supportive shoes with non-slip soles will help prevent foot and ankle injuries. Good shoes will also protect your knees, hips, and back.
Wrist sprains are also common. Writing in patient charts and regular lifting of patients can cause repetitive strain injuries. Watch your posture and take regular breaks.
More than one-third of nurses suffer disabling back injury or back pain. Be careful when transferring or lifting patients. If a patient is heavy, get help. Use hospital equipment when needed instead of trying to move the patient on your own.
If you are injured on-the-job, your injuries will be covered by workers’ compensation. You are eligible for workers’ compensation even if you didn’t take the steps necessary to prevent injury. To learn more, request your free copy of Your Guide To PA Worker’s Compensation. If you have any questions, please call Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo, P.C., at 888-807-WORK (9675).