A combination of factors has made it even more difficult than usual to be a nurse in Pennsylvania and across the United States. There are fundamental reasons why a nurse is in jeopardy of being injured or ill at work. Injuries can often be avoided with proper precautions, but nurses are still at risk.

Experts have suggested a list of strategies that can be effective for nurses to remain safe. Washing hands can go a long way to prevent getting sick when in a hospital. As far as physical injuries, using lift devices rather than doing so manually can prevent muscle pulls and strains. Back injuries, arm injuries, shoulder injuries, and knee injuries are all common for nurses who have to transfer people in and out of beds and wheelchairs. Trips and falls are dangerous in any job, and picking up items that are on the floor or blocking the way can keep nurses and colleagues safe.

Nurses are accustomed to dispensing medications and vaccinations, but workers in a hospital might forget to get them. A flu shot and immunizations can keep medical staff healthy. Another aspect of patient care is dealing with needles. Nurses can be stuck by needles; it happens frequently with, on average, more than 1,000 incidents each day. Disposing of needles properly and being vigilant is key. Personal protective equipment, or PPE, has recently become a familiar term, and nurses have long known about its importance. Wearing the required eye protection, gloves, face masks and more can help with safety if a patient has an infectious disease.

Because nurses’ jobs are taxing and there are various schedules, especially overnight shifts, it is vital to get enough sleep to be awake and alert on the job. Finally, nurses need to be adequately shielded with basic self-care protocols. That includes good nutrition, exercise and psychological awareness.

Even with the proper precautions, nurses are inherently vulnerable to accidents and the long-term damage that nurse injuries can cause. Nurses might miss time at work, need medical care and face expensive financial challenges. A workers’ compensation claim may be needed to cover for all that was lost. An experienced lawyer who understands the plight of nurses may be able to help with pursuing benefits.