Many occupations come with hazards and risks. Education and training help prepare people for the danger and responsibilities of their jobs.
Nursing comes with dangers that many other fields do not face on a daily basis. As they work to care for the health of their patients, nurses often put their own health at risk.
Injuries from overexertion
Injuries from repetitive strain and overexertion are common in nurses. Nursing is a very physical job that includes physically moving and restraining other human bodies. The added stress and weight on joints and muscles can cause pain and damage.
Diseases from sharps
Nurses routinely handle sharp medical tools and equipment that could injure them. Accidental pricks and stabs from needles put nurses at risk of contracting many diseases transmitted through blood. An accidental needle stick can lead to infectious disease, critical illness or death. Hospitals and medical facilities have training and procedures in place to dramatically reduce this risk, but accidents do happen.
Violence from people
Nurses brave a genuine threat of violence from people for simply doing their jobs. Nurses are in direct contact with patients, family members and visitors. They deal with scared children who may fight back against something painful they do not understand. Patients suffering from delusion or under the influence of drugs pose a risk. Nurses also treat violent criminals who hold no regard for their safety.
Nurses are often overworked. Overtime and night shifts lead to extreme fatigue and sleepiness, which can increase the chance of any of these injuries.