As a nurse, your profession is highly rewarding but it is not without its challenges. You are exposed to numerous risks in the line of duty. You certainly work at full speed and at times on little rest. In addition, you are on their feet all day. However, your healthy and active presence is critical to providing empathic patient care and vigilant monitoring. While many workplace stressors can be hazardous, this is the Year of the Healthy Nurse! Here are 4 ways to avoid common injury:
1. Practice Good Body Mechanics
It is important for you to practice ergonomics and good body mechanics. Watching out for hazards and keeping the immediate environment free of clutter is the first step to ensuring that there is no danger around you. Wearing supportive shoes will also keep the risks of sprains and foot injuries at bay. Also, changing body positions makes it possible to minimize any pain and discomfort that you may be experiencing while on the job.
2. Practice Safe Needle Handling
Although this seems like a common way to avoid nursing injury, it is the most important. You handle needles on a regular basis but without safe handling skills, they can easily injure you. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) statistics, nurses suffer an average of 1,000 needle injuries in a day. Practice optimal needle handling in order to ensure safety. Needles and syringes should always be disposed safely and sterilized accordingly.
3. Use Lift & Transfer Equipment
As a nurse, you can easily get injured by lifting your patients manually. Although you may think using the lift is a time-consuming process, one wrong move can cause serious injuries. As you are required to bend, you will strain your spine and exert unnecessary pressure on your knees, especially when lifting heavier patients. While this may be part of the nursing course, the emergence of new technology has made lifting an easier process. Team work makes the dream work, so when in doubt, ask for help!
4. Get Enough Sleep
You should get plenty of sleep in order to be actively involved with the patients. If you do not obtain adequate amounts of sleep, you are risking your health and safety. Ensure that your body is well-rested. This way, you will be at the peak of your performance.
No matter what type of nurse you are, it is no secret that you can easily get injured when performing your duties. However, with good self-care and these tips in hand, you will always avoid common injury in the workplace. Remember, you have to be careful. After all, being a nurse requires more of you than just your occupation.