In California and around the country, the safety of nurses on the job is a constant concern. They are exposed to risks almost every minute they are working, and those risks can change their lives forever. Sometimes, dangers on the job can even result in death. To ensure the safety and well being of nurses, there are certain protocols that both medical staff and health facilities should always follow.
Clean hands are the first step in avoiding nurse injuries. While a basic strategy, this is the best way to prevent illness and the spread of germs. Being aware of surroundings and avoiding obvious risks is also important. Keeping work areas clean and clutter-free is essential, and removing unnecessary objects from the floor can help to prevent falls.
When working with an unruly patient, or one who needs to be moved, it is critical to ask for assistance. It is safer for both the patient and the nurse to have more than one person transferring a patient, or dealing with a potentially violent patient.
The flu is a concern annually for all healthcare workers, especially nurses. Getting a flu vaccination can provide protection from unnecessary illness and help to prevent the transference of the flu from nurses to patients. It is also important to consider other pathogens that can cause illness and receive proper immunizations.
Wearing protective equipment is a must when working with blood pathogen diseases, and it is crucial to be sure that no shortcuts are taken when putting on protective gear. Safely disposing of needles is also important. Hospital personnel experience approximately 1000 bad needle sticks and sharps-related injuries every day. All needles should be carefully capped after use and disposed of in a proper container.
Not getting enough sleep before work is another dangerous hazard for nurses. Lack of sleep can make healthcare workers less alert and more prone to making mistakes. Their reaction times could be inhibited, as well as the ability to make fast decisions in emergency situations.
Nurses who are injured on the job could be entitled to workers’ compensation payments under the law. Those who choose to file a claim may benefit from the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will pay attention to their needs and fight for the financial benefits they deserve.