Nurses often work long hours and come in on weekends and holidays to support those going through medical difficulties. The demands of nursing inevitably cause stress for the dedicated professionals providing daily support to those in hospitals and other medical facilities.
Unfortunately, when compared with many other professionals, nurses have an increased risk of getting hurt on the job. Between the physical demands of patient care and the risk that comes from dealing with those who are injured and ill, nurses have an elevated chance of getting hurt on the job.
What are the leading causes of injury for nursing professionals?
The biggest known risks for modern nurses
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reviewed 2016 injury reports to determine the most common kinds of injuries registered nurses suffer, and the results likely won’t surprise those familiar with medical work.
Over 45% of the reported injuries involved overexertion and bodily reaction, like sprains and strains. Falls, slips and trips caused another 25% of worker injuries, while violence from people, accidental contact with objects, transportation incidents and exposure to harmful substances rounded out the top six sources of injury.
When it comes to the injuries they suffered, sprains and strains were the most common injury, reported as the diagnosis in 51% of cases. However, the prevalence of violent injuries is something that nurses cannot ignore. They are roughly three times as likely as workers across all industries to get hurt in a violent incident on the job.
How can nurses protect themselves?
Recognizing when you need support can go a long way toward helping you avoid an injury on the job. Waiting for someone else to help you lift a patient or using a Hoyer instead of relying on your own body could help you avoid one of those overexertion injuries so common within the nursing profession.
Always following best practices when it comes to how you perform your job can help you reduce your risk, but nothing can eliminate the possibility that you will have to take care of a physically aggressive patient with dementia or to get hurt if someone else’s hand slips while using a dangerous tool. It’s also important for nurses to understand that they can request workers’ compensation benefits for medical care and possibly disability pay if they need time off for an injury to heal.
Learning more about workers’ compensation and job risks will help nurses practice their profession with less possibility of personal injury.