As a vital part of the healthcare field, the demand for nurses has increased over the years. With this demand comes a higher rate of accidents and illnesses on the job.
Nursing is a rewarding yet dangerous job in many aspects. The physical and mental demands of a high-stress job may take a toll in the short and long term. Discover some of the most common dangers to a nurse’s health.
Common soft-tissue injuries in nursing
Nurses spend hours on their feet moving patients and equipment. As such, the muscles, tendons and joints become prone to injury. Some soft-tissue damage may manifest over time with repetitive motion, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Large muscle groups such as those in the back become injured due to lifting, pushing or pulling patients. Soft-tissue injuries may result in long-term pain and disability if not treated properly.
The role of stress in nursing
Nurses see a range of joy and devastation daily. The mental and emotional toll of witnessing human suffering is steep. Combined with the long hours and physical demands of the job, the mental health struggles that nurses may experience become clear. Left unchecked and untreated, they may lead to a mental health crisis. In some cases, nurses who do not receive the proper intervention may turn to self-medicating habits such as alcohol and drug use.
As the strain on the healthcare system increases, so does the need for quality providers. Nurses are not immune to injury or illness while caring for others. As such, these professionals should take the necessary steps to protect themselves in the wake of an on-the-job accident or illness.