Choosing to spend your career as a nurse puts you on the front lines of the medical world. Patients will more than likely see more of you than they do of anyone else, including their doctors.
Your job requires patience, compassion, diplomacy and knowledge. You probably don't receive enough credit for the work you do, especially considering you put yourself at risk for serious injuries every time you go to work.
What are the most common injuries you face?
In order to take steps to keep yourself safe while on shift, it would probably help to know what injuries are most common to nurses. Below is a list of those injuries most often complained of in your profession:
- Even though violence is not the most common injury you could face, you may want to remain vigilant in order to avoid it. You cannot predict the behavior of patients, their family members, their friends and even your co-workers, but you could watch for warning signs and follow your instincts.
- You could suffer injuries when coming into contact with drugs, diseases, needles, radiation or chemicals. Make sure to take the appropriate precautions, such as hand-washing and gloving up, in order to lower your risk.
- Around one-quarter of the injuries suffered by nurses involve slips, trips and falls. Watch out for slippery floors, cords and other obstacles that could cause you injury.
- Almost half of all injuries suffered by nurses come from overexertion. You probably spend a good deal of your shift bending, reaching, crawling, lifting and twisting, which could easily cause injury if you fail to take the appropriate precautions.
You alone are not responsible for making sure you do not suffer these or other injuries while at work. Your employer should provide you with the appropriate training, equipment and personal protection to keep you safe. This may include experienced security personnel to avoid you becoming the victim of violence. Even inadequate lighting could cause you to slip, trip and fall. If you do not believe your employer is doing enough to keep you safe, you have the right to say something.
What happens if you do suffer a workplace injury?
You could pursue workers' compensation benefits to help you through your recovery. Medical and medical-related expenses, lost wages and more can quickly lead to a stressful financial situation. Of course, applying for these benefits creates stress as well, which is the last thing you need as you recover from your injuries. For this reason, you may want to consider working with an experienced Ohio attorney to receive the benefits you deserve.