Nurses are subject to a variety of health hazards and injuries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020 saw an unprecedented 78,740 nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries for nurses. Though this number will likely decrease in the future, it illustrates the daily risk nurses face.
Learning more about the most common nursing injuries might help avoid harm in the future. Nurses should know their workers’ compensation insurance and prepare for the damages described below.
Overexertion and repetitive stress injuries
Before 2020, overexertion was the most common injury for nurses. Most repetitive stress or overexertion injuries result from unnaturally bending, lifting or twisting the body. Nurses often must handle patients who weigh more than them. Be mindful of lifting techniques to prevent back injuries, strains or joint damage.
Violence from patients and criminals
Violence affects a disproportionate amount of healthcare workers. According to OSHA’s official website, employers should create committees to create strategies to minimize the risk for healthcare workers. Nurses can help themselves by staying alert for warning signs of violence and participating in training programs when available.
Trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are common in many industries, including healthcare. Nurses face various obstacles and unsafe walking conditions, such as cords, wet floors and medical equipment. Wearing proper footwear can reduce slips, but employers should also work to improve safety conditions for their employees.
Nurses treat thousands of Americans for their injuries every day. They deserve the same medical care, especially for workplace-related injuries. Improving workplace safety requires collaboration between employees and employers to follow procedures and maintain facilities.