4 facts about nurse health dangers

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Anyone who has ever worked in nursing knows that the job holds unintentional dangers, from poking yourself with a needle to slipping on a floor that’s wet with unidentified bodily fluids. Getting a finger jammed while lowering a bedside can be just as painful as getting your foot run over by an electric wheelchair.

And no surprise to nurses—back injuries are most common. This can range from muscular pain to disk or nerve damage. The best way to protect yourself from back injury is to know the facts and arm yourself with injury prevention tips.

Here are some facts you might not know:

    • Nursing has the second highest incidence of all types of non-fatal work-related injuries in the United States. This includes back injuries, sprains, strains and other musculoskeletal injuries.


    • Nurses have a higher risk of sustaining a back injury at work than do construction workers, warehouse personnel, delivery goods drivers and farm workers. Considering the average weight per patient that nurses may be helping lift in and out of bed, and the awkward bending nurses must do, even to give a medication, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.


    • Home healthcare and community nurses have a higher rate of back pain than do hospital nurses. Home health nurses may not have the resources that hospital staff may have, including another staff member to help move or lift patients.


  • The highest risk for back pain and injury among nurses is for those who work in orthopedics. Orthopedic patients who are restricted to bed often need considerable help moving about and require assistance from nurses.

For tips on protecting your back from injury, see “The nurse’s guide to preventing back pain.”

Source: spineuniverse.com

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Marijke Durning

Marijke is a professional writer who began her working career as a registered nurse over 25 years ago. After working in clinical areas ranging from rehab to intensive care, as a floor nurse to a supervisor, she found she could combine her extensive health knowledge with her love of writing. Although she has been published in a wide variety of publications for professionals and the general public, her passion is writing for the every day person to promote health literacy.

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4 Responses to 4 facts about nurse health dangers

  1. How about doing a write-up re:C-diff and what can happen to you if you have it and are put on pCN?

  2. Kathy

    After 33 year of walking concrete floors, pulling on patients and helping OB patients push out babies; I now have chronic back problems. Recently missed 2 weeks of work with it only to find out it is arthritis, degenerative disc disease and a bulging disc-which I just have to learn to live with. I do okay at home with my work here and can exercise no problem, but 12 hours on my feet at work kills me. So to you younger nurses and those of you just starting out, watch what you are doing when you pull and lift!

  3. I have chronic back injuries both from lifting patients and being kicked by a pt. The public doesn’t know all the abuse we take at work. I’ve worked in healthcare for about 23 years, 6 as a NA, and 18 as a RN. I’m just now realizing the benefits of having a “Good chiropractor” to call.

  4. annem

    Just wondering why the bullet-pointed items such as “Nursing has the second highest incidence of all types of non-fatal work-related injuries” are not attributed to any organization that compiled these statistics? How can we judge how accurate or reliable the information if no attribution is provided?