There are numerous professions that are at-risk for serious injuries during a work shift. While many are obvious such as construction workers, factory workers and first responders, many others are more of a shock. While it might come as a surprise, numerous front-line professionals such as doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers face significant danger on every shift.
While there is significant injury overlap between healthcare and other industries such as overexertion, muscle strain, repetitive stress, and slip-and-fall accidents, medical professionals face numerous unique hazards, including:
- Patient handling: Nurses are often called upon to move, prep for transport or reposition patients during their shift. This can create a strain resulting from an awkward position, struggling patient or significant weight difference. Some patients might resist the movement causing additional stress.
- Patient violence: Following from the previous item, not all patients appreciate the assistance they are receiving. Whether the patient struggles against the nurse, has a physical outburst or a violent seizure, physical altercations can result in severe injuries.
- Visitor violence: When family or loved ones receive bad news, unsettling information or disagree with a facility policy, the interaction can often turn violent. Pushing, shoving or striking a healthcare worker often results in serious injuries.
- Equipment-related injuries: It is not uncommon for a healthcare worker to be jabbed by a needle, cut by sharp instruments or pinched in folding machinery. These injuries can lead to serious injuries or harmful exposure.
Due to the constant workload and the stress involved, injuries suffered by healthcare workers can impact the individual and the team for a significant amount of time. Even after a seemingly minor accident, it is wise that healthcare workers seek a thorough medical examination.