Nurses in Alaska perform a rewarding but very difficult job. While caring for patients, nurses are exposed daily to various pathogens and infectious bacteria. At the same time, nursing can be a physically demanding job that comes with a high risk of musculoskeletal injuries. If you’re a nurse, you can avoid injuring yourself on the job by taking a few common-sense safety precautions.
Use proper body mechanics
A lot of nursing tasks involve moving patients who may be too heavy for you to lift alone. To avoid injuring your back, it’s important to use patient transfer devices when they are available. It’s easy to tell yourself that these devices take too much time to use, but remember, a lower back injury will take even more of your time.
Handle needles carefully
Needle injuries are very common in hospitals, and if you’re a nurse, you work with a lot of needles. Taking your time while using needles and properly disposing of needles could help you to avoid getting pricked by one. Every year, there are about 385,000 needle or sharp object injuries suffered by hospital workers.
Don’t take shortcuts with PPE
Nurses come into contact with other people’s bodily fluids, which can put them at a much higher risk of catching infectious diseases than other people. Your personal protective equipment can help put a barrier in between your body and fluid that could make you sick. It’s important to wear PPE properly and always change it out at the appropriate times.
Take time to rest and recover
Many workplace injuries in nursing happen because of worker fatigue. Getting a full night of sleep after a long shift can help to keep you safe on your next shift. If you were injured or fell ill on the job, taking the time to rest and recover is crucial. In many cases, nurses require some financial help from workers’ compensation benefits so that they can afford to take time off. If your employer tries to deny your workers’ comp benefits or you have other questions about the process, an attorney may be able to help.