At the Law Offices of Hussain & Gutierrez in California, we know that as a nurse, you face a continuing risk of injury while performing your day-to-day duties. Scrubs Magazine reports that no matter where you work, be it a hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office or in your patients’ homes, you should take just as good care of yourself as you do of your patients.
The top three injuries you are most likely to sustain are the following:
While you cannot prevent all injuries, a little forethought, planning and carefulness can prevent most of them and minimize the effects of most others.
It should come as no surprise to you that back injuries are the most commonly reported nursing injuries. Given that you constantly lift, move and support patients and equipment, be sure to lift properly, with your knees rather than your back. Also protect your wrists and ankles. Try not to overwork your hands; take frequent short breaks during which you massage your hands. As for your feet, your best defense is a good pair of shoes that provide excellent traction, especially on slippery or wet floors.
Even a paper cut can become infected and result in serious injury since you constantly work in environments where a lot of bacteria live and breed. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day and always after coming into contact with one of your patients. If you notice that you have a cut, wash it immediately, apply an antiseptic and also a bandage to prevent further injury.
Since you handle so many sharp instruments such as syringes, scissors, knives, etc. on a daily basis, handling them properly probably is second nature to you by now. Nevertheless, it is easy to become careless in an emergency situation or when you are overly pressed for time. Be sure to thoroughly clean and treat any “stick” you receive, and if the object was anywhere near a hazardous material, seek appropriate medical attention.
While back injuries are the most prevalent nursing injury, burns often are the most painful. Be particularly careful around autoclaves, sterilizers and other extremely hot surfaces. Even such innocuous devices as coffee machines can cause serious burns if you inadvertently spill their liquids on yourself.
For minor burns, apply an improvised ice pack to the affected area of your body. Be sure to then apply an antiseptic ointment and bandage. However, use your nursing education to your own advantage. You know the difference between a first-, second- and third-degree burn. If your burn is not minor, immediately seek emergency medical help.
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