Nurses in Georgia and throughout the country face a variety of on-the-job hazards that could affect physical and mental health. These risks have been amplified by the influx of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is itself a serious occupational risk to nurses. The good news is that there are recognized ways of minimizing the risk of injury and mental stress. Let’s look at a few reminders and tips that you can use to remain healthy and safe at work.
Be aware of physical hazards (watch where you’re walking)
When you see something on the floor, be sure to pick it up instead of trying to avoid it. Doing so may prevent you, your colleagues or your patients from slipping, tripping or falling. If the floor is wet, be sure to clean up the spill or alert someone who can get rid of the liquid as quickly as possible. At Law Office of Perry Dean Ellis, P.C., we have seen many cases of hospital workers slipping on wet tile floors, so definitely watch where you step.
Try to stay in good physical shape
It may go without saying, but keeping your body strong is an important aspect of fulfilling the physical requirements of the job and minimizing the risk of injuries. Nursing can be a very physically demanding job, and the importance of maintaining physical stamina and strength cannot be overstated.
Minimize strain on your body (use mechanical lifts and proper lifting techniques)
Proper lifting techniques are very important, whether you’re lifting a patient, equipment or supplies. Improper lifting is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. It’s also important, if they are available, to use mechanical lifts or other tools to move patients from one location to another. Also, taking steps such as regularly changing positions (practicing good body mechanics) and wearing comfortable shoes can help you avoid foot, hip or back injuries. Ideally, you’ll carry objects or perform tasks using both hands in an effort to avoid painful injuries.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Instead of trying to deal with a patient who is being physically or verbally abusive, it is a good idea to ask for help diffusing the situation. Also, if you can’t lift or reach something on your own, ask for assistance instead of risking injury in an attempt to move or grab an item.
Be good to yourself
Getting plenty of sleep and taking other steps to reduce your stress level can have a profound impact on your personal and professional life. To stay calm while at work, try to make time to take a walk, stretch or participate in a fitness class with your colleagues. Taking some personal time between work and your home life can also be helpful in clearing and rejuvenating your mind.
If you suffer a work injury or illness, it’s important to know your options for receiving the maximum available workers’ compensation benefits. Even at the height of their service in the midst of a pandemic, nurses may find their medical or income benefits denied or delayed. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can handle your claim and help you get all the benefits to which you are entitled.