5 Common Nursing Injuries and How to Avoid Them

ID-100140154Nursing is an incredibly fulfilling job, but it does come with a number of occupational hazards. It’s incredibly important that you take good care of yourself in the same way that you would your patients – if you’re not able to work, you won’t be able to help them! Here are 5 common nursing injuries and how to avoid them.

Nicks and Cuts

Nicks and cuts are incredibly common for a nurse, and even minor cuts like paper cuts can develop into something more serious if they get infected, so it’s really important that you try to minimise your risk of getting them. Because nurses handle sharps everyday, it can sometimes result in automatic handling – meaning that you’re more likely to get cut. Always be aware of what you’re carrying and be very respectful of knives and other sharps at all times. If you do get cut, wash the area well and apply a bandage. Look after the area, change the bandage regularly and if you need to, apply an antiseptic.

Burns

It’s also surprisingly common for nurses to get burns while working – sterilisers can get very hot, while many nurses are known to rush about with a mugful of extremely hot coffee, and with just one slip you can burn yourself quite severely. Be careful when handling hot drinks and hot liquids, as well as foods, and when using sterilising equipment and autoclaves, take real care! If you do get a burn, rinse the area with cold water, apply ice and antiseptic if needed and wrap with a bandage. Seek medical attention if the burn is particularly severe.

Ankle Sprain

Nurses are on their feet all day, everyday, and so it’s common for them to experience foot pain and even ankle sprains. Walking on uneven surfaces can make the problem worse, as can rushing around without taking notice of your surroundings. Although you’ll always have to be rushing somewhere, you won’t be much good to your patient if you trip over on the way to attend to them – so watch where you’re walking and take care not to run unless you’re wearing the right supportive footwear. Invest in the right shoes – you’ll be using them all day so it’s important that they are super comfortable and supportive.

Back Pain

Unfortunately, most nurses will experience back pain at one time or another throughout their career – it’s often thought of as something that comes with the job. But it’s not something that you have to suffer with – you can minimize back pain by having tall, strong and straight posture. Avoid stooping or crouching and when you have to bend down to lift, bend with your knees, not your back! If you do experience back pain, regular yoga and Pilates could help.

Stiff Joints

Repeated movement of your joints and everyday wear and tear could cause stiffness within your joints and in particular, your hands and fingers. To avoid developing stiffness within the joints, try lots of stretching and bending and if you do develop stiffness, massaging your joints and using a topical painkilling gel containing ibuprofen could help.

If you experience an injury at work and it’s not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation. If you think you might be eligible, contact a medical malpractice lawyer like www.axiclaim.co.ukfor help and advice.
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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