As a nurse, do you know that you are highly exposed to a lot of challenges which concerns your health and safety? In the US alone, the healthcare industry is known as one of the fastest growing industry and the majority of their workers are women.
It is said that with a large volume of women working on board, hospital hazards are not the only one to be worried about as the sector is more prone to violence and stress. With the kind of work nurses signed up for, job-related injuries and workplace violence have become part of the deal.
But, it does not mean that as a nurse, you can’t do anything to protect yourself from these kinds of violence and injury. You can always do something about it. With proper knowledge, you’ll be able to keep yourself safe even you’re inside a dangerous working environment.
Numerous health care workers have been fighting for a law that will require every hospital to use only safe needles. These are the needles with a cap, and the use of other devices that can avoid causing wounds when used in medication. Thankfully, the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2011 require every hospital and medical care units to use safe needles.
Back Pain or Injury
Most injuries reported by nurses are headaches, neck pain, and back injuries that are associated with lifting patients and carrying medical supplies. There is a federal guideline that state that workers are not prohibited to lift anything that is beyond 50 kilos, but, most patients weigh more than especially the obese.
If you still have to move things, you should practice pushing instead of pulling because it puts less stress on your back, you should stay close to the bed to avoid reaching, and when lifting, always lift from a squat position with your back straight and let your legs do all the hard work.
The work related violence
When it comes to violence, nurses are very vulnerable to these kinds of attack especially if the staff is less and if the violence took place during high activity like meal time and visiting hours. Even if you want to, you cannot avoid working alone in emergency rooms and on mental health centers where the level of violence is high. Although most care centers have already installed security systems and require their employees to wear an ID, that’s not enough.
As an easy target, you should familiarize yourself with all your patients’ behavior so that it is easy on your part to take proper precautions as you approach your patients.