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5 Common Workplace Injuries That Affect Providers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

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    As health care providers administer live-saving treatments daily, the dedicated nurses, doctors and other people who make their living in the medical sector are often at a higher-than-average risk of workplace injuries. Here are five of the most common threats and how you can prevent them.

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    1. Back Injuries

    Back injuries can happen due to problems like herniated discs, strained muscles or torn ligaments. Tasks that require pushing or pulling things could make a person more likely than their peers to suffer back injuries. However, the people who are most likely to develop back pain or injuries are those who have jobs requiring lifting or moving patients.

    One simple way to prevent back injuries is to alternate tasks so that people are not always putting their backs under strain. Many hospitals also have mechanical lifts, and teams of people trained to use them.

    2. Sharps Injuries

    Sharps injuries occur when a person suffers a puncture wound from a needle or a similar object. Statistics indicate that about three million health care workers get such injuries each year, and most are nurses. The biggest danger from these injuries relates to bloodborne pathogens that could cause a person to develop diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

    Preventing sharps injuries starts by teaching health care workers how to properly dispose of needles in specified containers. Using products such as a needle cap that’s brightly colored could also prevent accidents during handling.

    Some medical department managers encourage workers to leave caps off after use and immediately dispose of the needle, instead. Hospitals often use disposable syringes with retractable needles, and those can make accidents less likely to happen, too.

    3. Knee Injuries

    The knee is a part of the body that people often take for granted. Since the knees absorb at least 1.5 times a person’s body weight when walking, any injuries can become particularly painful. Also, nurses are among the most common types of workers to have knee injuries.

    If a person stands or walks during the entire workday, they can be at an elevated risk of knee injuries. The same is true if they slip while moving quickly or lift something heavy.

    Wearing supportive shoes can prevent knee injuries. It’s also ideal if a person takes the time to stretch and strengthen the leg muscles and the glutes. If you have injured your knee before and want to prevent future problems, consider wearing a brace, and assess what changes you could make to your movements or techniques to safeguard yourself from getting hurt again.

    4. Injuries Due to Overexertion

    If your body becomes overtaxed due to a heavy workload, the associated fatigue may lead to an injury. People in the health care sector often work long hours that include many physical tasks. That reality can mean the nature of the work makes overexertion injuries more prevalent.

    Such injuries are part of a broad category that could encompass some of the other sections on this list. For example, an overexertion injury could also mean that a person has a hurt back.

    Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that injuries related to “overexertion and bodily reaction” accounted for 45.6% of workplace injuries concerning registered nurses in 2016.

    The coverage continued by saying that issues like excessive physical effort and repetitive motion can trigger these injuries. Prevention begins by taking adequate rest breaks, which means managers must staff shifts appropriately so that workers feel they can go off the clock without burdening their colleagues. Moreover, employees should resist doing anything that makes them push their physical limits, especially if they are already tired.

    5. Chemical Injuries

    Health care facilities contain an assortment of hazardous chemicals ranging from disinfecting products to anesthetic agents. Some items commonly used in hospitals also have chemicals that can pose problems if the medical equipment containing them breaks or malfunctions. For example, some blood pressure gauges have mercury, although those are getting phased out.

    Keeping dangerous chemicals in well-marked containers is an excellent first step to take. Also, all staff members should learn how to attend to someone who gets a chemical injury. Chemical injuries often occur on the face or in the eyes. Flushing the affected area with water is typically the best way to limit a chemical’s effects.

    Inhalation injuries are related problems that can happen if a chemical damages the respiratory tract or lungs. Wearing masks or respirators is an appropriate preventive measure during prolonged exposure.

    Awareness Limits Catastrophic Consequences

    Don’t live in fear of going to your health care job because injuries are possible. Instead, do what you can to stay aware of the risks and reduce them as much as possible with the suggestions here.

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