Behind The Scenes: Unveiling Work-Related Injuries Medical Workers Face

On-The-Job Injuries Medical Workers Face

The medical field is rife with opportunities for on the job injuries. There are many common work-related injuries that can happen while caring for patients in a hospital, lab or doctor’s office. According to the CDC, healthcare workers have the highest reported cases of non-fatal occupational injury and illnesses. In fact, healthcare workers face the highest cases of nonfatal on the job injuries and illnesses of any other industry sector.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private industry hospital workers are more likely to have a work-related injury or illness, at the rate of 6 cases per 100 full-time workers.

Lifting And Moving Patients Results In Medical Worker Injuries

Medical-related jobs can be physically challenging. There are several tasks that medical workers are responsible for which often lead to on the job injuries. The most common event leading to work-related injuries among hospital workers is overexertion and bodily reaction, especially from lifting and moving patients. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that roughly 45% of work-related injuries that hospital workers endured were as a result of lifting and moving patients.

Falls, Slips, And Trips Result In Medical Worker Injures

The second highest number of on the job injuries that hospital workers suffer are due to falls, slips, and trips. Roughly 25% of hospital workers’ on the job injuries fall under this category according to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Medical workers are constantly on the move. A medical facility is rifle with opportunities for slips and falls. Some of the hazards underfoot can be owing to liquid spills, items left in the walkway, and loose cords and hoses from medical equipment.

Work-Related Injuries Nurses Face

Nurses and nursing assistants face a unique set of work-related injuries based on the daily tasks their jobs demand. Daily tasks such as walking, bending, stretching, standing for long periods, lifting patients or medical equipment, and coming into contact with potentially harmful substances and chemicals may lead to on the job injuries for nurses. Nurses are prone to strains and hernias (both spinal and abdominal) due to the responsibility of physically moving patients. Walking and standing for long shifts can lead to injuries because of slips, trips, and falls (often slipping on liquids or tripping over the cords or wires of medical equipment). Bending, stretching, and lifting patients can lead to work-related back injuries for nurses.

Medical Worker’s On The Job Injuries Are Enduring

Not only do medical workers have an elevated propensity for on the job injuries, but the injuries medical workers suffer are often more enduring. Roughly 25% of hospital workers on the job related injuries result in more than 31 or more days away from work. More time away from work often means more serious injuries and more medical bills.

The Areas Of The Body That Medical Workers Experience Injuries

There are several areas of the body prone to on the job injuries for medical workers. The parts of the body most likely to be impacted by work-related injuries among hospital workers is the trunk, especially back injuries. The second body parts most likely to be injured by hospital workers on the job are the upper extremities (hands and shoulders). Followed by the lower extremities such as legs, feet, and ankles.

Medical Workers Are Prone To Needlestick Injuries

Needlestick injuries are a significant concern for healthcare workers, especially those involved in administering injections, drawing blood, or handling sharp medical instruments. Accidental needle pricks can lead to exposure to bloodborne pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Despite extensive training and precautions, these injuries can occur in high-stress situations.

Medical Workers Face Work-Related Injuries Due To Repetitive Tasks

A study by the BLS found that musculoskeletal disorders comprised over half of all days missed from work among nursing assistants. Medical professionals, particularly nurses and caregivers, often experience musculoskeletal injuries due to the physically demanding nature of their work. Repetitive tasks such as lifting and transferring patients, repositioning them in bed, or carrying heavy medical equipment can lead to strains, sprains, back injuries, and joint problems. These injuries can have long-lasting effects on the overall well-being and career longevity of medical workers.

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