Common Nursing Injuries - What You Need to Know

Common Nursing Injuries - What You Need to Know

Nurses are a foundational part of our healthcare system and tirelessly care for patients, walking, stretching, bending, lifting, and standing. Whether moving patients or equipment or rushing to help someone, you put your body through a lot of stress.

With all the activity and physical stress, it is understandable how registered nurses experience so many various injuries, with approximately 104 cases per 10,000 nurses getting injured annually.

We will discuss some of the most common injuries and illnesses and tips on preventing and mitigating injuries for nurses and medical employers.

Most Common Injuries

The most common occupational injuries are attributed to overexertion and bodily reaction. Nurses have a physically demanding job that includes excessive bending, twisting, lifting, and repetitive movements.

The following most common injuries for nurses come from slips, trips, and falls; some injuries are due to patient violence. Nurses often put themselves in harm's way caring for patients and find themselves exposed to drugs, chemicals, radiation, diseases, etc.; even with extensive training and safety protocol, accidents happen.

Tips For Nurses To Help Prevent Injuries

1. Invest In High-Quality Non-Slip Shoes

Slips and falls often happen in hospitals as their floors are constantly being cleaned, and nurses are often hurrying to help patients, rushing from one place to the next.

As a nurse, you are under a lot of pressure, and sometimes that ends with you crashing, slipping, and falling onto the hard floor after a slip or a turn. When you try to catch yourself you can injure your hand, break your wrist, or damage your finger; landing on your knee can also cause serious injury.

High-quality non-slip shoes help mitigate the risk and give you better footing on the hospital floor, allowing you to move more safely. 

2. Practice Proper Lifting Form

Well, we've all heard it is vital for nurses to use proper lifting techniques when moving a patient. You want to make sure you lift with your legs and hips, not with your back, to move the patient. That doesn’t mean that you don't have any strain on the back; it just means that you want to do your best to keep your back straight.

Nurses often have to transport patients, and poor technique can easily tweak your back, strain a muscle in the hamstring, or injure your knee. Make sure that you avoid bending or twisting your center and try to pivot or step when you move. Instead of using your torso and your back, use your legs and keep them in line with your toes and avoid letting them go into strange angles.

3. Go Slow To Go Fast

When you move too fast, you're putting yourself at risk for injury. Granted, nurses often feel pressured to move quickly, but you are also potentially putting your patient's safety and health at risk as well as your own.

4. Call On Co-Workers For Help

When you have to move a patient, and you are uncomfortable lifting or moving them, call on co-workers to help. It'll be safer for everyone because moving someone alone is a challenge, even if it's only for a short distance,

and the wrong move can lead to an injury that can put you out of work.

5. Utilize The Gait Belt

A gait belt is essential for nurses to help move patients and lift them safely. Gait belts are adjustable straps with a medical buckle, specifically designed to help caregivers when helping someone with limited mobility move.

6. Make Use Of Assistive Devices

While you may be tempted just to move a patient yourself and not take the extra time it takes to bring in a mechanical lift, it is the best choice if there is no one around to help you. These assistive devices are similar to cranes and aid medical professionals in safely transferring patients from their wheelchairs to their beds or helping them out of bed and onto their feet. Your back will thank you!

7. Develop A Regular Work Out Routine To Build Strength

Working out with weights can help you to develop and maintain strength in your muscles and also benefits your health. Squats and deadlifts, planks, and other core-building exercises are essential for nurses to improve their overall body strength, fitness, and endurance.

8. Mitigate Risk Of Exposure To Harmful Substances

Nurses are often at risk of being exposed to various harmful substances, including:

  • Chemical occupational exposures can come in the form of gases, aerosols, and skin contaminants and tend to be absorbed through the skin or breathing
  • Volatile organic compounds(VOC) are chemicals that evaporate at room temperature and are easily inhaled
  • Sterilants used while cleaning equipment and work surfaces can be linked to skin irritation, asthma, eye irritation, dermatitis, and conjunctivitis
  • Medications such as anesthesia and antineoplastics can be problematic and easily inhaled if the gas escapes into the air
  • Pesticides sprayed in hospitals can expose nurses to toxic fumes
  • Latex exposure and latex allergies can cause skin irritation and even asthma or anaphylaxis in extreme cases

Nurses and other medical professionals can help to mitigate some of the risks by wearing protective gear, custom surgical scrubs, and surgical caps to help reduce exposure or cross-contamination and practice safety protocols to limit stress on their bodies.

Check Out Our High-Quality Scrubs At Blue Sky Scrubs

At Blue Sky Scrubs, we offer only the highest quality women's and men's scrubs, lab coats, surgical caps, compression socks, and accessories to help ensure you are covered from head to toe. You will look and feel professional and comfortable during your long shifts. Check out our website today and also our awesome blog