Nursing is one of the most critical jobs. It is a career spent helping others through their worst days.
Specific hazards exist for those who choose the nursing route, and some of those hazards are physically damaging. Incidents of injuries in the nursing field continue to rise, even with changes and recommendations for prevention. Some injuries happen more than others. What can you do to protect yourself from the most common ones?
Lift patients safely
Nurses most often sustain back injuries in and around hospitals, clinics and private health care facilities such as nursing homes. These injuries occur, in large part, because proper lifting protocol gets ignored. A decade ago, staff did not have access to hydraulic lifts and chairs that aid in moving a patient from a bed to a chair and vice versa. Now that these tools exist, nurses should always take advantage of them. If it is not available for whatever reason, more than one person should assist.
Stay current on vaccinations
While it seems silly to remind people in the medical field to stay on top of vaccinations, it is necessary. Nurses face exposure to a plethora of bacteria and germs. The flu virus is running rampant again this year, and nurses battle it on the front lines. Not getting the proper vaccine at the appropriate time could spell big trouble for health care providers and their families.
Use safety equipment
There is a reason why hospitals and clinics have face shields and other safety equipment– they should get used. When patients exhibit signs of a communicable disease, don special personal protection equipment (PPE) provided throughout the ward. Failure to do so can result in transmission of virus and pathogens, not just to the nurse, but to other patients, as well.
A rewarding and fulfilling career in nursing does not mean it is without difficulties. Nurses need to protect themselves against injury throughout the workplace. The demand for their services is too critical to go without.