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Common injuries nurses face at work

Nurses play an important role in the healthcare system, providing essential care to patients in various settings. However, this noble profession comes with its fair share of occupational hazards. Nurses often face a range of work-related injuries due to the physically demanding nature of their job.

Understanding these injuries is important for both healthcare professionals and administrators to create a safer work environment.

Musculoskeletal injuries

Musculoskeletal injuries, including strains and sprains, are prevalent among nurses. These injuries often result from repetitive tasks like lifting and moving patients, bending and standing for long periods. In 2020, 10,510 nurses in the United States had to miss one or more days of work due to musculoskeletal injuries sustained at work.

Providing ergonomic training can help nurses learn proper body mechanics for lifting and moving patients, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

Back injuries

Back injuries are one of the most common issues nurses face. Constant lifting, transferring and repositioning of patients put significant strain on the back, leading to acute or chronic pain. Implementing safe patient handling programs, including the use of assistive devices, can significantly reduce back injuries.

Needlestick and sharps injuries

Nurses are at risk of needlestick injuries, which can occur when handling needles and other sharp medical instruments. These injuries can lead to infections and the transmission of diseases. Using safer needle devices and implementing strict sharps disposal protocols can minimize needlestick injuries.

Slip, trip and fall injuries

Slips, trips and falls are common in busy healthcare settings. Wet floors, cluttered workspaces and quick movements contribute to these accidents. Regular maintenance of the work environment to prevent slips and trips is essential. This includes promptly cleaning spills and keeping walkways clear.

Workplace violence injuries

Unfortunately, nurses sometimes face physical violence from patients or visitors. This can lead to various injuries, ranging from bruises to more severe trauma. Training nurses to handle aggressive behaviors and having a system in place to quickly address violent situations can reduce the risk of injuries from workplace violence.

By understanding these common injuries, healthcare facilities can maintain a safer working environment. It is important for nurses to be aware of these risks and for healthcare administrators to prioritize injury prevention and safety training.