Workplace Violence: Nurses

Portrait of female nurse standing with arms crossed in corridor of hospital

Nurses – don’t we just appreciate what they do for us? What are they exactly? They are trained professionals who administer both care as well as concern to their patients in a wide variety of settings. They monitor vital signs, follow procedures, dispense medication, respond to emergencies, and they also cope with challenges. Did you know that healthcare workers get injured at an alarming rate?

 

The hazards of nursing jobs can impair one’s health both acutely and in the long-term.

 

Imagine some of the issues they face on a day-to-day basis:

*Stress due to work overload, limited or insufficient access to technology, increase in patient population

*Exposures to everything from blood-borne pathogens and chemicals to radioactive material, drugs and waste

*Ergonomic hazards from lifting and similar repetitive tasks

*Workplace violence

 

According to the Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA), hospitals are one of the most dangerous places to work. OSHA also states that the illness and injury rates in hospitals is higher than the rates in manufacturing and construction – two industries commonly deemed to be the most dangerous.

 

Most Common Illnesses and Injuries among Nurses

-Bruises

-Cuts and punctures

-Fractures

-Multiple trauma

-Strains and sprains

-Soreness/Pain

 

Many of these injuries can be classified as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) as they involve the body’s joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and structure that support the back, the neck, and the limbs.

 

Beyond the MSDs, healthcare workers also face other unique risks such as:

**Exposure to patients and sharp devices contaminated with blood-borne pathogens

**The threat of violence from patients with mental or physical health challenges

**Slips and falls when water or other liquids/fluids are spilled on the floor of a hospital or nursing home

 

Actions to Take Following an Accident or Injury at Work

Following an accident, the following actions should be taken:Seek medical advice where appropriate

-Seek medical advice where appropriate

-Ensure that the record states the accident occurred at work

-Report the accident to your immediate superior

-Complete an accident form as soon as possible after the accident, provide as much detail as possible

-Take contact details of all witnesses (some witnesses can be patients)

-Take photographs or create a sketch of the area including any relevant hazards e.g. slippery surfaces or faulty equipment

-Take details of the type and serial numbers of any significant equipment

-Be specific, accurate and concise when making written reports

-Do not apologize or accept liability/blame

-Keep copies of all reports

 

After the accident:

-Keep in touch with your employer and let them know of your progress if you have to take time off work

-Keep a diary of your investigations, treatment or any medical consultation

-Document progress

-Keep a record of all expenses incurred as a result of your injury

-List the injuries and details of all your immediate treatment

 

If you need more legal assistance in terms of making a claim for compensation, contact our firm as soon as possible at 1.855.905.9222.




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