Healthcare workers have one of the most essential tasks anywhere in the world. Nurses and hospital staff provide vital service to patients in nursing homes, public/private hospitals, home-care scenarios and personal/public health clinics. The healthcare field is also among the fastest growing job markets in our nation because of a growing population and aging baby boomers. Unfortunately, healthcare workers are at risk of suffering several different kinds of harm at work. Work in the healthcare industry are physically demanding, it may take a toll on the body. Healthcare workers can also be injured by individuals or things they experience on a daily basis in their jobs.
Types of Injuries In the Healthcare Field
Workers in the medical industry are vulnerable to a lot of hazards in the workplace. A study reports that instances of non-fatal occupational illness and injury tend to be higher among employees in the healthcare area than among workers in almost any other industry sector.
While the healthcare field encompasses a variety of different tasks, ranging from home care aid to registered nurse to orderly, everyone who works in the field shares certain dangers that increase the odds of an on-the-job injury. Below are few popular causes of injury that may lead health care workers to hospital beds:
- Overexertion/repetitive stress — Healthcare workers are more than seven times as likely to come up with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) compared with other workers. Among the different types of healthcare workers, nursing aides, attendants, and orderlies have the highest risk of MSDs.
- Patient managing activities — These include manual lifting as patients are moved to different positions or are repositioned.
- Needle sticks — Healthcare workers routinely utilize needles and sharp medical tools which could cut or puncture the skin.
- Violence — Health care and social service workers are at high risk of being violently assaulted on the job. Patients, patients’ families or patients’ friends all present a possibility of violence. Employees in hospitals, especially, are in danger because violent offenders might be placed in hospitals under criminal holds. Hospitals and clinics are also likely to be robbery targets due to the existence of medication.
- Slips and falls — When water or liquids are spilled on the floor of a nursing home or hospital, a healthcare worker can fall on the slippery flooring.
- Understaffing — Most hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics are understaffed because of budget limitations and/or a lack of qualified care providers. Understaffing can raise the risks of many types of injuries due to the pressure to work quickly and the absence of support to assist with tasks such as patient transfers.
Some of the most common types of injuries suffered by healthcare employees as a result of those and other workplace incidents are as follow:
- Sprains and strains — Sprains and strains are the most often reported injury among healthcare workers. Most strains and sprains affect the shoulders and the lower back.
- Slipped discs — Body mechanics when lifting or transferring patients may damage the disks (the fleshy tissue that cushions your spinal bones).
- Blood-borne infectious ailments — A study noted that needle sticks considerably raise the possibility of dispersing blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B or C.
- Infections — These infections can happen as a result of airborne pathogens or vulnerability to mucus as well as bodily waste.
- Broken bones — Fractures most commonly result from violence.
- Head injuries — These may happen due to slip-and-falls or as a consequence of violence.
Obviously, healthcare workers may also experience a number of other accidents as well because they may spend their days dealing with dangerous patients and toxic workplaces. Injury prevention procedures are taken by health care professionals in order to minimise these.