As a nursing assistant, you are likely to sustain injuries on the job at some point. While many of these injuries may be minor, others may be severe and result in medical treatment and time off work.
We will discuss the most common injuries for nursing assistants and provide tips for avoiding them.
Nursing assistants are in a high-risk occupation
Because of the very nature of their job, nursing assistants have one of the highest risks of occupational injury and illness.
The most common injuries include:
- Back injuries from lifting patients out of bed or transferring them from a wheelchair.
- Sprains and strains can happen when nursing assistants twist or turn suddenly or overextend their muscles.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome caused by repetitive motions, such as those often used when bathing or dressing patients.
- Slips, trips, and falls from spilled liquids and cluttered floors. In addition, they often have to hurry from one task to the next.
- Exposure to bloodborne pathogens, which can cause severe and sometimes fatal diseases, such as hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS.
Here are some tips to help nursing assistants stay safe on the job:
- Always follow standard precautions when handling patients or their belongings, including wearing gloves, gowns, and masks when appropriate.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Try to remain in sight of others when dealing with combative or angry patients.
- Lift with your knees, not your back. When moving patients or lifting heavy objects, use proper lifting techniques to avoid strain or injury.
Even if you follow all the safety recommendations, accidents can happen. If you are injured on the job, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You will also want to know your rights and responsibilities under workers’ comp and ensure you receive the benefits you are due.