While nursing can be one of the most rewarding occupations, it is also an extremely difficult job. Not only can it be mentally and emotionally demanding, but it can take a severe physical toll on the body as well.
Some of the most common injuries and health issues among nurses include:
- Slip and falls: Hospitals have almost a 90 percent higher rate of slip and falls than any other industry in the United States, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only are nurses physically drained after long shifts on their feet, but they can be running to an emergency, which is especially dangerous considering wet floors seem to be around every corner.
- Back injuries: Back pain affects tens of thousands of nurses across the country every year. In fact, some statistics show that nurses and orderlies experience more back injuries than any other occupation. Nurses credit this common injury to lifting patients in and out of their beds, wheelchairs and showers each day. While mechanical lift equipment can prevent back injuries, it is not always available to nurses in every hospital.
- Infection: While many of the infectious diseases are bloodborne, there are a large number of diseases that can be contracted from skin to skin contact with an infected patient.There are a variety of infection control resources put at place in hospitals, but they are not always perfect.
- Violence: According to the American Nurses Association, more than 20 percent of registered nurses report to having been physically assaulted during the past year.Workplace violence occurs more often in health care related fields than any other industry.
- Emotional Distress: Nurses experience emotional and mental health issues, along with the physical demands of the job.Generally, nurses who spend the most time with patients are especially susceptible to emotional distress. This can be from verbal abuse from the patients or watching a close patient die.Whatever the reason, emotional distress is a serious health concern affecting thousands of nurses across the nation.
Nursing is a demanding and dangerous occupation. As such, injuries and illnesses can occur. If they do, nurses would be wise to explore their options for workers' compensation to get the financial support they need and deserve.