Nurses face WHS Risks

NurseWorking in a hospital, aged care facility or health centre as a nurse is not for the faint of heart. Nurses spend almost their entire shift on their feet working long hours and dealing with fatigue on top of the unique risks around patient care.

Nurses are faced with work related injury risks that are quite different to other industries or sectors. Nurses are just as much at risk of being injured on the job as more workers in manufacturing and construction, especially if they are already exhausted from a long days’ work.

The most common injuries nurses face and the most reported is back injury. They lift heavy patients all day long, which can cause wear and tear on the back.

Other common injuries include wrist sprains, minor cuts and scrapes, burns and foot injuries. Stick injury is also a unique injury faced by health professionals. As a result, hospitals are looking at ways to reduce the risk of injury in nurses in order to stay fully staffed and run at their most efficient rates.

Health care operators are are constantly looking for ways to increase safety among their staff. This especially rings true when it comes to older nurses. Hospitals do not want to lose their most experienced nurses due to injury or exhaustion, so they’re doing everything they can to ensure this doesn’t happen.

They see the value these employees bring to the table. Some methods of keeping nurses safe include:

* Learning how to cope  –  Hospitals are stressing that nurses know how much work they can handle and being honest about it. If they’re getting burnt out, they are encouraged to speak up before getting to the point of exhaustion or injury.

* Better patient management techniques – An increasing number of hospitals are implementing lift apparatus’s to help nurses move patients, and many hospitals do not want nurses attempting to move a patient that is too big for them. They allow the nurses to ask for help when moving patients to prevent injury and make it easier on everyone. This is also much safer for the patient.

* On the Job Training for nurses –  Hospitals want the nurses and staff to be as involved as possible when it comes to safety measures. They encourage sharing of ideas and attending safety seminars to allow everyone to be included. Having safety of high importance in hospitals keeps it fresh on the minds of nurses, making them less likely to perform a task on their own, such as lifting a heavy patient, and get injured.

If you need more information on how to introduce better WHS systems into your hospital or healthcare facility call us for a free consultation at 1300 773801.


About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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