Nurses have very specific risks that must be controlled so that they don’t suffer injuries that can keep them away from work. Unfortunately, the injuries that a nurse can face may have significant impacts on their life. It is necessary for these professionals to try to minimize dangers inherent to their occupations, but the full burden doesn’t fall on them. The employer has to be the one who ensures that the nursing staff has what they need to stay safe.
There are many ways that this can happen. Having a comprehensive plan in place can help to protect the nurses who have pledged to care for others. The exact methods depend on factors present in the workplace, including the type of facility. Doctors’ offices would require different precautions than hospitals.
Keep vaccinations up to date
All nurses must ensure that their vaccinations are up to date. When they have to treat patients with certain diseases, being vaccinated helps to prevent them from coming down with the illnesses. Some medical professionals might not think they are in danger, but it is better to have the vaccinations and never need the protection than it is to avoid having them and coming into contact with a preventable illness.
Wash your hands and wear protective gear
Always wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs. At a minimum, you should wash them before and after any patient contact. It is also a good idea to wear disposable gloves and other barrier gear when you are treating patients. Some conditions, such as C. diff, require you to wear full personal protective gear, including gloves, gowns, masks, eye protection and shoe covers.
Use proper lifting techniques
Nurses sometimes have to lift patients. This can be challenging because adults aren’t light. Get help from another person if you must lift a heavy patient or use lift devices if they are available. When you are lifting, use your knees and try not to twist. Your goal is to move the patient safely without putting yourself in danger of injury.
Be careful around needles
Sharps present a significant hazard for nurses. There are around 1,000 injuries per day from sharps in hospitals in the United States. Make sure that the patient is secured, you are wearing gloves and the safety mechanisms on the sharps are working. Nurses who are stuck by a needle should seek medical care immediately, especially if it was already in contact with a patient.
Nurses will often try to continue caring for patients even when they are ill or injured. They should make sure to get the care they need so that their condition doesn’t worsen unnecessarily. Workers’ compensation can help with the related expenses.