Nursing can be dangerous at times due to physical injuries that may be caused by violence, excessive tiredness from shift work and possible exposure to various things. We have one body to last us a lifetime and so I thought that it would be a good idea for people to collaborate ideas on how to avoid/reduce injuries or harm to yourself at work. Let me know if I have missed something or you feel like one of these is of little/no concern and I can add changes. Maybe you yourself or someone you know have experienced these or there are ways that you protect yourself from these injuries or harm to yourself. I have read recent posts where nurses have said that driving drowsy has led to accidents including the death of colleagues. Another stating how they have worked with nurses with a black eye, broken arm and a fractured hip from violent patients and that they have worked with/seen nurses kicked, punched and spat on. Some nurses have even left the profession due to the injuries that they have suffered or are being overexerted/burnout from work. Maybe this can be changed/avoided/reduced if there are better strategies in dealing with them.
I have summarised the injuries/harm that nurses could endure into 3 categories:
- Physical injuries (from lifting e.g. patients, from standing for long periods or helping patients who are aggressive/violent). Nurses may for instance experience back injuries, leg injuries at the joints or the development of varicose veins for instance or injuries relating to violence etc.
- Shift work (excessive tiredness e.g. driving accidents, more prone to mistakes that could impact patients, disrupting the regular sleep-cycle and possible health risks e.g cardiovascular disease. This is a good website which details some possible health risks and some solutions: Shift Work Health Risks: Heart Disease, Ulcers, Obesity, Diabetes, Depression, Accidents Maybe you have a good schedule in dealing with shift work that you would like to share.
- Other e.g Chemical/Patient sickness (fumes, liquids, hazardous substances, radiation, surrounded by patients' illness e.g airborne and direct contact diseases and sicknesses).
I feel like having more nurses working at once could help with some of these issues because it could allow for more rest time and therefore making it safer for both you and the patients etc. and probably will allow for more flexibility in shift work. Also, there is the obvious use of wearing wear compression stockings or comfortable footwear to prevent leg pain.