Nurses and individuals who work directly with patients in a health care setting face specific dangers. It’s imperative that employers take steps to help keep these workers protected from harm.
When nurses suffer harm, they will sometimes try to continue working so they don’t let their patients down. This can cause more harm in some instances because the injury might become worse with movement and activity.
It’s up to the employer to ensure that these professionals have safety measures in place to help prevent accidents. These must be clearly conveyed to the employees and refreshers periodically can also help.
Injuries from lifting and transferring patients
Lifting and transferring patients is often necessary, but this isn’t something that most individuals should handle alone unless the patient is a child. Instead, using assistive devices or having another person help is usually needed. While a slight backache is often considered part of the job, it can be a sign that something more is going on. Back pain that doesn’t abate or that gets worse over time might be a cumulative trauma injury.
Needle sticks and sharps cuts
Handling needles and sharps requires special care to prevent health care professional from poking or cutting themselves. Many medical centers use safety sharps and needles, such as those that self-sheath, however, it is important to know how to use ones that don’t have this safety feature. Any health care worker who suffers an injury from a needle stick should seek medical care. This is especially true if it had already been used on a patient or had already been loaded with a medication that could cause harm to the employee.
Exposure to infectious diseases isn’t something that these professionals can avoid. Instead, they just have to take precautions to reduce their risk of contracting them. This includes measures like wearing suitable personal protective equipment when caring for patients. Employers must provide these items for the staff members.
Any nurse or patient care professional who suffers an injury or illness due to work might need medical care. Workers’ compensation should provide them with the coverage they need. If they can’t return to work quickly, partial wage replacement should start. Unfortunately, this sometimes requires an appeal of an incorrect determination of eligibility.