As a nurse, nobody has to tell you that your job can be tough. However, even you may not realize just how much strain your body is under or the dangers you face every day.
When you’re working, there are too many variables that can affect your safety — and you can’t control them all. Knowing your biggest risks, however, can help you exercise more conscious care. Here’s what you should know.
The 6 top causes of nursing injuries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has been tracking injuries among nurses and other health care workers for a while. Here’s what the data says are the biggest risk nurses face:
- Overexertion injuries: Your job requires a whole lot of twisting, bending, kneeling, stooping and lifting — and that takes a toll on your body.
- Slips, trips and falls: Even with non-slip shoes, you always run the risk of slipping on fluids and gels that have leaked onto the floor.
- Violence: Around 12% of the workplace injuries nurses suffer have to do with patient or animal violence, compared to 4% in all other occupations.
- Contact with objects: Even with the best precautions, a nurse could get knocked down by a gurney or shocked by a piece of equipment.
- Transportation incidents: When you have to move patients from room to room and floor to floor, accidents can and do happen.
- Exposure injuries: Anything from a prick from a dirty needle to exposure to excess radiation could adversely affect a nurse’s health.
It’s important to remember that all of these injuries are compensable. If you’re hurt on the job, you have a right to workers’ compensation benefits that will cover your medical costs, lost wages and more.