Nurses play a vital role in the health care industry; they serve in the frontline of the medical field. Aside from the fact that these medical professionals have to deal with the stress of working long hours in medical facilities, they are also exposed to different workplace hazards. It is not uncommon for nurses to deal with biological, chemical, physical, and even psychological hazards while on duty. Needless to say, it is never easy to be a nurse; it takes a great amount of dedication and commitment.
In Australia, for nurses, a typical day in the workplace is composed of assessing, evaluating and implementing patient’s care, administering medications and treatments as per doctor’s orders, monitoring and keeping records of patient’s condition, using medical equipment, administering dressing changes, ensuring infection control, among many more. Taking these tasks into account, it is fairly easy to conclude that nurses are particularly exposed to workplace hazards that could affect their overall health.
Biological hazards – Clinical and medical facilities are common grounds for contagious airborne and blood-borne diseases, such as tuberculosis, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and many more. Hence, nurses are always at risk of contracting these types of diseases. This is why it is extremely important for clinic and hospital workers to wash their hands frequently, properly dispose needles, and wear proper attire.
Chemical hazards – Nurses are exposed to different types of chemicals on a daily basis, which make them prone to chemical hazards. Chemicals for sanitizing and disinfecting, anesthetic gases, and drugs and medications are common chemicals nurses have to handle in line of duty. These chemicals, if not handled properly, could result in workplace injuries for the nurses.
Ergonomic and physical hazards – It is not uncommon for nurses to walking and standing for long periods of time every work shift, which can put their bodies in great amounts of stress. Lifting heavy medical equipment is also part of their duties. Because of these, nurses are exposed to hazards due to physical demands.
Psychological hazards – Nurses work with medical emergencies that can affect them psychologically and emotionally. There are also instances wherein workplace situations causing violence can traumatize medical workers. These instances are even heightened for nurses working areas heavily affected by disasters like earthquake, typhoon, fire, and major accidents.
Dealing with different work hazards are part of daily lives of nurses. While these hazards can cause serious health issues among workers, there are many ways how to prevent them from happening. Even though many of these professionals are covered by insurance broker Hunter Valley, it is still extremely important to take all precautionary measures at all times. Below are some of the most common preventive measures nurses and other medical industry workers can take.
Frequent hand washing – Washing of hands is extremely necessary among nurses and other clinic and hospital workers. Frequent hand washing can reduce and eliminate infections that are transferred through physical contact.
Proper waste disposal – Sharps containers play a very important role in reducing hazards in the hospital or any other clinical setting. Proper disposal of medical equipment such as sharps is extremely important in order to prevent spread of blood-borne and airborne diseases.
Proper work attire – Wearing personal protective equipment and work attire is vital in preventing hazards in the workplace. These pieces of equipment were designed to protect medical professionals to be safe from certain chemical and biological hazards.
Nurses in Australia may always be exposed to different workplace hazards, but this does not stop them from doing their tasks. Without nurses, medical facilities will be overwhelmed with the duties and tasks to be done, and in some degree, it could be said that many patients will not survive without their assistance. Hence, it is also important for their employers to invest in the services of an insurance broker Hunter Valley who can assure them of their safety. Nurses, needless to say, are very important professionals in the field of medical work.