Nurses in Pennsylvania and around the country have some of the most difficult jobs. They work hard to treat patients daily but are at risk of serious injuries or illnesses. It’s important for nurses to remain safe on the job.
It’s not always possible to avoid all hazards, but nurses can limit their risk by staying as alert as possible. If an object falls on the floor, it should be picked up. Wearing appropriate shoes with good traction can help limit the risk of a slip and fall as well.
Practice regular hand-washing
Nurses are constantly in contact with sick patients, which means they can potentially become ill themselves. However, they can minimize their risk of getting sick by continuously washing their hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer can also help prevent the spread of illnesses.
Vaccination is one of the best ways to prevent serious illness when nurses tend to sick patients. They should stay up to date on all of their vaccinations to protect themselves, patients, family members and anyone else with whom they have close contact.
Getting vaccinated also means that nurses may not have to miss time off from work if they can remain healthy.
Needles and other sharps are commonly used in the nursing field. A nurse could accidentally get pricked with a needle or other object if they’re not careful. Taking the proper precautions can prevent a potential bloodborne infection or serious injury that might require a workers’ compensation claim being filed. Always handle needles and other sharps safely.
Personal protective equipment or PPE is a must for nurses. It should include a face mask, gowns, gloves and goggles to prevent transmission of bloodborne diseases and patients’ bodily fluids.
Use lift and transfer equipment
Nurses sometimes have to lift heavy objects at work, which can lead to a strain or repetitive motion injury. Using lift and transfer equipment, and proper body mechanics, can prevent such injuries from occurring.
Consult a lawyer
If a nurse does happen to suffer an injury or contract a disease at work, he or she should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Nurses who are injured at work should contact a certified workers’ compensation specialist right away to understand their rights and to preserve their entitlement to wage loss and medical benefits.