People in the nursing field know that they will have to work hard on each shift. They understand that caring for patients is taxing on the body. Most will also assume that the medical facility they work for will provide them with a safe work environment.
Some hazards are common for all nurses. Understanding these is the first step toward ensuring safety throughout each shift. Healthcare facilities must provide nurses with the equipment they need. There should also be an established safety protocol for everyone to follow.
#1: Lifting patients
Lifting patients without the help of lifts can cause injuries to nurses. Team lifts and proper techniques can help the nurses remain safe when there isn’t a mechanical lift present. Protecting the back must remain a priority for nurses. Stretching before each shift and avoiding spending too much time bending over for patient care may help with this. Lower back pain is the cause of more than half of lost days due to injuries in the nursing industry.
#2: Slippery floors
Floors at medical facilities can get slippery quickly. Bodily fluids and other substances can hit the floor during a patient’s care. Wearing non-slip shoes can help, but nurses must also ensure the shoes they choose help protect their feet and joints. At a minimum, the shoes should have good arch support and provide support for the rest of the foot.
Biohazards are a byproduct of working in this field. Nurses should always ensure they wear proper personal protective equipment and follow established procedures. Any contact with a biohazard, including being poked with a used sharp, should be reported and addressed immediately.
While nurses take pride in caring for people, a nurse who has a serious job-related injury shouldn’t try to wait until their shift is over to get medical care. Workers’ compensation should enable them to get the care they need. It also provides other benefits in some cases. These benefits may not be provided as they should so be prepared to fight for them if necessary.