If you work as a nurse or a medical assistant, you represent one of North Carolina’s largest industries. While these employees provide life-saving medical care for their patients, they also experience a higher risk of work injuries, especially in the hospital setting.
Prepare for the most common workplace hazards for nurses and other health care workers so you can stay safe.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overexertion is the most common cause of work injury for registered nurses, representing almost half of cases involving time off from work. Most of these musculoskeletal injuries result from the repetitive motions involved in lifting, twisting, bending and making other physical movements. You can reduce the risk for this type of injury by using the correct techniques and asking for help when needed.
Slips, trips and falls
This category is the second most common type of injury for nurses and represents the most common work injury for nurses ages 64 and older. If you notice hazardous conditions on the floor, in the stairwell, in a parking lot or anywhere else at your health care facility, report it to the appropriate person right away.
Nurses can receive workers’ compensation for illnesses contracted at work. You can reduce your risk of getting sick by using personal protective equipment whenever appropriate and washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water. Keep up with your vaccines, including the annual flu shot, to further decrease your likelihood of illness.
If you do get hurt at the hospital, report the injury to your supervisor right away.