Health Dangers that Nurses Face Every Day
Nurses take on a lot of medical-care responsibilities which expose them to many dangers that are present in a healthcare setting from viral infections and handling of sharp and used surgical equipment, to other workplace hazards. A nurse’s job is not easy, tiptoeing around potential hazards, and it can become even more dangerous if they are unaware of certain sneaky threats.
Working around the potential hazards to provide patients with the care that they need, and to know about the protective measures that one should take while doing so, is part of a nurse’s job.
Nursing—A Highly-Respected Profession:
Nurses make up the bulk of the front-line defense force when it comes to fighting disease. They deserve our highest respect and encouragement because they put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis to provide us with medical care. Whether it’s a crisis, like the pandemic, or when things are normal, nurses have a never-ending assignment to help us fight against the disease.
It’s a perilous job with long, strenuous shifts, but when you help a patient overcome illness, it can be the most gratifying feeling of all. Helping someone recover from a serious illness is certainly the most gratifying aspect of nursing and something that every child, no exceptions whatsoever, has thought of doing one day.
But as rewarding as it can be, and as much as we might want to fulfill our childhood fantasies, few really know the path toward becoming a fully-certified nurse.
The nursing programs you can choose today are diverse and highly specialized. Plus, there are a plethora of online programs that can help you get a registered nursing degree from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Registered and certified fnp online programs can provide you with the skills and expertise, in as little as 12 months, to become a family-health practitioner, a highly sought-after degree program that specializes in monitoring and preventive care procedures.
But like all other professions, nursing, too, has benefited from the sophistication of the evolving world, but at the same time, the fast-paced industrialization, digitalization, and population growth have all increased health risks. As new technologies have made healthcare accessible, accurate, and effective, new and deadlier pathogens have risen to flank us from every side.
Working in a healthcare setting day-in and day-out, coming into contact with infected patients and equipment has made nurses the most at-risk professionals of modern times. Let’s go through some of the dangers that nurses have to face on a daily basis.
One of the dangers that nurses face on a daily basis comes from the infected patients they are tending to. Coming into contact with these patients is part of the nurse’s job, as they have to provide medical care.
The obvious risks for nurses include contracting pathogens, viruses, or infections from coming into contact with these patients. For a complete overview of the risks posed by patients, read the following:
Infectious diseases: Nurses are at risk for exposure to many infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and MRSA.
Violence: A healthcare facility is a charged environment, especially the psychological and critical care units, and patients and family members can become aggressive or violent if they feel that their care is being neglected or when they hear bad news delivered to them by a nurse.
Chemical exposure: Nurses are constantly exposed to various hazardous chemicals in carrying out their nursing duties. Skin irritations, respiratory problems, and terminal illnesses can result from unprotected and prolonged exposure to these chemicals.
In addition to the patient-related dangers, nurses also face many workplace risks that abound in a healthcare setting.
Fatigue: Nurses often work long-hour shifts under challenging circumstances, which leads them to fatigue and burnout, making them susceptible to losing focus and concentration during work.
Special Units: Nurses assigned to specialty units, like surgery, critical care unit (CCU), emergency room (ER), and labor and delivery are at higher risk for needlestick wounds and bloodborne pathogens. And, those nurses that work with radioactive machines are at risk of radiation exposure.
Nurses may also be at risk of developing specific health problems due to the nature of their work and the demands it places on them. For example, nurses have to be on their feet constantly and develop foot and back problems as a result. Nurses who can’t get in enough sleep due to long shifts can develop problems related to focusing, attention, and may eventually burn out. Psychological healthcare environments can cause nurses a whole lot more stress than would be tolerable. Health Dangers that Nurses Face Every Day
The Safety Essentials
Nurses form the backbone of the healthcare system, and that’s why nurses must take proper care of themselves—physically, mentally, and emotionally—to be able to provide the best possible care for those they serve.
The Need for the Right Training: Nursing schools leave no stone unturned in imparting the requisite skills for providing care and ensuring safety. However, with so many areas of care, the need for comprehensive training will always be there. Rigorous training, studying, and clinical practice that nurses have to go through at the nursing schools equips them with the right skills and knowledge to safeguard themselves against risks and dangers.
Being Careful & Cautious at Work:
Nurses can take the following measures to reduce their risk of exposure to health dangers.
- Always wear gloves, masks, and goggles when appropriate
- Always comply with safe-work practices and avoid contact with blood and other bodily fluids whenever possible
- Use Sanitizers and hand-washing stations regularly and be sure to clean the work area at the end of each shift
- Go for regular checkups and vaccinate against possible diseases
Nurses should know about the risks of transmission when tending to patients with infectious diseases, like COVID-19, tuberculosis, or chickenpox.
Nurses must be prepared to calmly deal with emergencies as they may be required to assist with traumatic injury treatment procedures or surgeries, something which is not for the faint of heart.
Nursing is a demanding yet rewarding profession, both financially and emotionally. Added to grueling work hours is the hazardous nature of the job, which entails constant exposure to infectious, chemical, and physical health risks. Developing your nursing skills also means that you should know about the health risks involved and stringently work toward not only providing safety for patients and their families but also for yourself.
Health Dangers that Nurses Face Every Day