Most Registered Nurses (RNs) work in well-lighted, comfortable health care facilities. Home health and public health nurses travel to patients’ homes, schools, community centers, and other sites. RNs may spend considerable time walking and standing. Patients in hospitals and nursing care facilities require 24-hour care; consequently, nurses in these institutions may work nights, weekends, and holidays. RNs also may be on call—available to work on short notice. Nurses who work in office settings are more likely to work regular business hours. About 23 percent of RNs work part time, and 7 percent hold more than one job.
Nursing occupational hazards
Nursing has its hazards, especially in hospitals, nursing care facilities, and clinics, where nurses may care for individuals with infectious diseases. RNs must observe rigid, standardized guidelines to guard against disease and other dangers, such as those posed by radiation, accidental needle sticks, chemicals used to sterilize instruments, and anesthetics. In addition, they are vulnerable to back injury when moving patients, shocks from electrical equipment, and hazards posed by compressed gases. RNs who work with critically ill patients also may suffer emotional strain from observing patient suffering and from close personal contact with patients’ families.
It is increasingly recognized that health workers, especially nurses and nursing technicians, are subject to a variety of health hazards. Several studies have indicated the need to identify, in a critical area such as an ICU, the factors causing hazards, as well as strategies to avoid them, so that the health of these workers is not affected [1, 2]. Signs of strain in nurses and nursing technicians are manifested in various forms, depending on the task complexity. Certainly, one of the most common strains is physical and mental fatigue.
Nurses are an integral component of the health care delivery system. In discharging their duties, nurses encounter a variety of occupational health problems which may be categorized into biological hazards, chemical hazards, physical hazards, and psychosocial hazards. A review of some examples of each of these four types of hazards is presented in this article. Particular attention has been devoted to hepatitis B, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, tuberculosis, cytotoxic drugs, anaesthetic agents, needle stick injury, back pain, and stress.
Nurses are more likely to contract diseases. Hep B and C is quite common in health care. Most health care workers are vaccinated for B. HIV also is a problem, particularly with needle sticks. Accidentally stabbing your self is quite common and patients are more likely to have HIV than the average populace. TB and other airborne disease is also an issue. They are usually quarantine, but they have to be diagnosed before being quarantined. Nurses have to be checked regularly for TB. Because hospitals give a lot of antibiotics to patients, antibiotic resistant bacteria exists in the hospital. Nurses are more likely to contact these bacteria like MRSA, and they are harder to cure than standard bacterial infection. That is why they are required to wear gloves.
Nurses wear gloves and therefore are more likely to get latex allergies. Nurses are required to wash their hands a lot. This would dry out there hand. The hours for nurses are sometimes very bad. Remember, hospitals are open 24 hours and their shift may be 12 hour long. Nurses have stress and sleeping disorder. They see people die and could create psychological and emotional problems. They have (relatively) easy access to drugs and are more likely to abuse them.
By: Ateboh Abiola