Healthcare workers do their best to care for the patients entrusted to their care. Many people don’t realize the hazards that come with working in this profession.
Some of the more serious risks for healthcare personnel are present for those who have direct access to patients. It’s crucial that all healthcare facilities recognize these hazards and implement safety measures to prevent injuries.
1. Back injuries
Lifting and positioning patients can cause back injuries. Instead of trying to do these singlehandedly and manually, care teams should try to use team lifting methods or lifting devices like Hoyer lifts to make this aspect of patient care a bit easier.
2. Sticks from sharps
Needles and other sharps are major hazards in the healthcare industry. This is especially true for ones containing certain medications like chemotherapy agents and those that have been used on patients prior to the stick. Using proper capping and disposal methods can help to prevent these from occurring.
3. Slip and falls
Spills or liquids on the floor, including bodily fluids, can lead to slip-and-fall incidents. Wearing non-slip shoes can help prevent this from happening. Additionally, any liquids on the floor should be promptly cleaned.
4. Bodily fluid exposure
Exposure to bodily fluids is hazardous because of the risk of the healthcare professional contracting a communicable disease from it. Immediate monitoring after they’re exposed to any bodily fluids is crucial. Personal protective equipment can prevent this from occurring.
5. Violence in the workplace
Violence in the workplace is possible, especially if the employee is working with an irate patient or upset family member. Proper measures, such as having ample security, may help to stop attacks on healthcare professionals while they’re caring for patients.
While many healthcare professionals will try to continue caring for patients despite suffering an injury, this isn’t a good idea. Continuing to work may lead to the worker doing more damage to themselves. Instead, they should seek medical care, which is covered by workers’ compensation. Other benefits are also possible, but you may have to work with someone who can help you fight for what you’re due.