Patients in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes count on nurses and patient care technicians to meet their needs. Sometimes, these medical professionals have to lift patients, help them move around and handle heavy items. All of these duties and others inherent to these jobs pose a risk of injury to the workers.
People in the health care profession don’t always have the tools and means to keep themselves out of harm’s way. In some instances, these individuals put themselves in danger to care for the patients who are counting on them.
Nearly double the risk
The rate of injury to workers in the health care industry is almost twice that of the private sector as a whole. Think about that for a minute. It is more dangerous to work in the health care industry than in the construction industry or the manufacturing industry.
This statistic doesn’t take every injury into account. Instead, it only counts serious injuries that require the person to miss work. If the person is able to stay at work, even if duties have to be modified, that injury doesn’t count as one for the purpose of this statistic.
Fairly standard risks
One of the biggest risks for health care workers is from the body’s reactions to the stresses of the job and the overexertion that comes with these positions. People who go through nursing school are sometimes told that body mechanics can help to rectify the issues, but this is a misconception. Instead of relying on that myth, health care professionals need to rely on proven methods to help, such as patient transfer devices.
Falls, slips and trips are another risk. Even though most people think of health care settings as clean places, some areas like emergency rooms and surgical suites can have substances on the floor. Bodily fluids and other fluids can make the floors slippery. The slippery substances might be so great that even non-slip shoes won’t do any good.
One thing is certain for everyone in the health care industry who suffers on-the-job injuries: They shouldn’t try to hide the effects of the injuries even if they need to care for patients. This can put victims of the injuries at risk but it can also put the patients they care for at risk. Instead, get the help you need right away to avoid further issues.