Nurses are often in the position of helping those who have been injured or fallen ill. Many do it not for the pay or the benefits, but because it seems like a calling. They want to help those who need it most. They want to make those people’s lives better.
This is noble, valuable and something that reveals a person’s character. One thing to remember, though, is that nurses can be at risk for injury. This is not an easy profession by any means. Let’s take a look at some of the potential injury risks:
- Back and spine injuries from lifting patients. A patient may need help getting back into bed after using the restroom. The nurse could be tasked with lifting them into the bed. But what if a 120-pound nurse is trying to lift a 200-pound patient? Even if that patient can help to some degree, one slip could seriously injure the nurse.
- Lacerations and puncture wounds. Some of the tools of the trade are not exactly safe to handle. A nurse could get stuck with a needle while trying to draw blood; they could get cut with a scalpel while assisting with surgery.
- Infections and medication injuries. The cut and puncture issues listed above may only be the beginning. A nurse could get stuck with a contaminated needle and develop an infection, for instance, or they could get exposed to a serious disease. They could also be exposed to a medication that they are allergic to or that reacts with something that they’re already taking.
- Chemical hazards. Nurses often have to deal with chemicals and substances that could be considered a biohazard risk. Even when they take the proper safety steps, this is a level of exposure you just do not see in other careers.
- The cumulative effect of stress and long hours. Being a nurse is difficult and takes dedication. Is someone who has been awake for hours or even days more likely to suffer injury? What impact does the consistent stress of the job have on their health?
If you’re a nurse, you know that you face these risks on the job. When one of them leads to an injury or an illness, make sure you also know what legal steps you can take.