The nursing industry is more dangerous than many people realize. In fact, some reports indicate that nurses experience “some of the highest injury and illness rates in the healthcare…sector.”
Nursing accidents and injuries happen in many different ways. It’s important for nurses to understand how they occur and what steps they can take in the aftermath of an injurious situation
Slip and fall accidents
Nurses spend a lot of time on their feet, and they work in a fast-paced environment, oftentimes on slippery floors. This means that the risk of a slip and fall accident is very high. Nurses can also trip over items in a chaotic and sometimes cluttered workplace. These falls are a top cause of injury.
Many nurses suffer injuries when they try to lift heavy patients. These back strains can be incredibly serious and may limit their mobility. It’s best for nurses to work together when they have to lift and move a patient, as this is sometimes necessary, but short staffing may mean that a nurse tries to do it on their own.
Recently, there’s been a concerning trend wherein more and more patients are engaging in physical altercations with nurses. This has been a rising cause of nursing injuries. It’s unclear exactly why patients are attacking nurses more often, but it is clear that nurses need to be aware of this risk.
Finally, nurses are frequently exposed to hazardous substances that they wouldn’t ordinarily encounter in other situations. For example, nurses sometimes worry about needle sticks. Not only can this be painful, but being stuck with a needle containing medication in a syringe – or a needle that has been used on a patient who already has a contagious condition – could be very dangerous for the nurse.
What can nurses do next?
Injuries on the job are going to continue to happen, as they’re an inherent risk of working in the nursing industry. That’s why it’s so important for nurses to understand all of the options that they have and when they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the wake of sustaining harm.