Nurses play an important role in the healthcare industry. Many people do not realize that it can also be a physically intensive job.
Because it is, nurses are vulnerable to certain workplace risks.
Nursing often involves lifting and moving patients who are weak or physically incapable of getting up themselves. This can lead to physical strain. The repetitive nature of these activities can also contribute to musculoskeletal injuries, such as back pain.
Nurses frequently work in close proximity to patients, increasing their risk of exposure to infectious diseases. Transmission can occur through contact with bodily fluids or airborne pathogens. They also face the danger of bloodborne pathogen infection through needles. The various chemicals nurses work with can also pose health risks.
The demanding nature of nursing can lead to work-related stress and mental health issues. High patient loads, long hours and emotionally challenging situations can contribute to burnout. They may also make nurses more susceptible to developing mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Compassion fatigue and loneliness may also plague them as they deal with difficult patients and an inability to socialize with peers because of the high demand for their services.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 78,740 reported cases of nurses missing at least one day of work from nonfatal workplace injuries or sicknesses. Nurses face numerous hazards because of their environment and jobs. When they become injured or ill in the course of performing their duties, they may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to ease any associated financial burden.