Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Occupational hazards faced by nurses

Nursing can be a tremendously rewarding profession, but it is also an inherently dangerous one. Hospitals are notoriously hazardous work environments, presenting a broad range of risks for employees, and the nature of the nursing position and the duties expected of you only increase your odds of suffering a work-related injury or hardship.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health, as a nurse, you face numerous occupational hazards and injury risks specific to your profession, including the following:

Violence

Regrettably, many nurses find that they experience high rates of on-the-job violence, and this is especially true for nurses who frequently work in emergency room environments. The problem is so widespread, in fact, that one study indicates that about one in 10 nurses is a victim of physical violence during his or her career. Meanwhile, more than 50 percent of nurses involved in the study reported experiencing verbal abuse in the workplace.

Exposure to diseases

Today’s nurses also run the risk of suffering exposure to blood-borne pathogens and dangerous and deadly diseases because of their profession. Drawing blood, suturing wounds and injecting patients are all methods through which nurses can expose themselves to blood-borne pathogens. Nurses must worry about tuberculosis and staph infection exposure, too, among related dangers.

Persistent aches and pains

Many nurses like you also report persistent aches and pains throughout various areas of their bodies. Often, the root cause of aches, pains, sprains and strains is heavy lifting. As a nurse, your job may require you to move multiple patients may times in a single day, and repeatedly performing heavy lifting can lead to a broad range of related injuries and complications.

While these are some of the more common hazards and injury risks nurses like you face every time you show up for the workday, please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all job-related risks.

 

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