Being a healthcare worker within a hospital can be one of the most rewarding careers, mostly because it is a calling rather than a career. Any doctor, nurse or physiotherapist will tell you they chose the career due to a deep-seated desire to help others, but it can come at a price.
This is because when you work in a hospital, there are so many hazards in the workplace. Here are the most common healthcare worker injuries that you need to know to prevent them from happening.
This is one of the most common injuries in the hospital for a variety of reasons and is potentially one of the most life-threatening. Picture the Emergency Unit or Trauma Unit of a busy hospital and imagine a patient is brought in, having a seizure.
With the violent thrashing of a seizing patient, the risk of being stuck while trying to administer an injection is high, to say the least. Now imagine that the same patient also has Hepatitis.
So, the nurse has been stuck with a needle contaminated with Hepatitis, a potentially fatal and incurable disease. Most hospitals use specially designed sharp containers for discarding the needle after use, but this does not protect the nurse or doctor while giving the shot.
According to an expert workers compensation attorney at Stephen F. Thompson, Jr., Attorney at Law, LLC, as a healthcare worker, it may be a good idea to enlist the aid of a, in case the day comes, where you are no longer able to work due to injuries sustained at work. Hospital management is sometimes negligent to worker’s complaints and if it leads to an accident, you must take legal action against the hospital.
Back injuries, strains and sprains
The very nature of nursing is traditionally very hard on the back, with many hours on your feet, bending to tuck in sheets, assisting patients onto and off the bedpan and, possibly the worst, lifting patients to turn them over or make their beds. Making the bed when there is a patient lying in it is very tricky.
There is a very special technique, but it requires the nurse to lean across the bed, over the patient, then roll the patient toward yourself. If you are a petite female nurse and your patient is a solidly built man, this can put tremendous stress on the lower back, sometimes causing permanent injury.
History has shown that many nurses end up having to have spinal fusions on their lower backs after years of heavy lifting in the line of duty.
The risk of violent patients
Sometimes, an injured patient is brought into the ER, knowing he or she is way over the legal limit. They are afraid of the repercussions of driving under the influence and may lash out at the staff member attending to them.
This could result in injury, ranging from a slight bump on the head to a deep laceration, requiring sutures. This is fairly commonplace in drug users, too, as most of the time, these patients are not fully aware of what they are doing.
Their senses and rationale have been dulled, and their emotions heightened, by whatever substance they have used. Head injuries can also cause confusion and aggression in patients, affecting the way they perceive the staff, which can also cause violent outbreaks.
Accidental trips and falls
Racing to get a crash cart because your patient is coding or rushing to get to a patient who is about to deliver her baby; may lead to a trip, slip and fall in the workplace, or you could slip because of the saline on the floor.
This could lead to several serious injuries from bruising and fractures to concussions and spinal injuries. Ironically, the very place we go when we are injured or ill is one of the workplaces with the highest risk for its own employees.