Nurses: High Risk For Potential Injuries
Nurses are very high risk for injuries, due to their job duties, heavy workloads, and long work schedules. Most people think nurse’s only responsibilities are observing and documenting patient behavior, administering medications, providing treatments, and establishing nursing care plans, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.
It is very common for nurses to be forced to hand over uncompleted tasks to the oncoming nurse, even if they work a full, twelve hour shift, while this may not be appropriate, it is a fact. There are many things that a nurse can do to protect herself/himself from potential injuries. This article will provide, you with some very valuable information that will help get you started on becoming a new, healthier nurse.
Nursing Work Schedules
Most medical facilities have their own unique, nursing work schedules. Some of them require nurses to work four 12-hour shifts, without a day off in between. This schedule is very difficult to comply with, because it does not allow much in the way of family time or personal time. While, you may feel refreshed on the first day of the schedule, it only gets worse from this point. By the time, you get off of work, feed your children and bath them, you will barely have enough time to take care of your own personal hygiene. Of course, you will be lucky to score about five hours of sleep, before you have to get up and prepare for work.
Proper Body Mechanics
Nurses are responsible for assisting with patient transfers, ambulation, lifting, and positioning. All of these require a lot of muscle and to prevent injuries, during these strenuous tasks, you will need to use proper body mechanics. Body mechanics are basically the way we perform our activities of daily living. We become so accustomed to completing these tasks that we do not think about getting injured. Good body mechanics is vital to our health and crucial to remain injury free. Some tips that you should follow, when doing any type of lifting, bending, stretching, standing, and sitting.
– Never Bend Or Twist Your Waist
– Always Bend At Your Hips & Knees
– Create A Foundation Of Support (Spread Your Feet Apart)
– Keep Your Neck, Pelvis, & Back Aligned With Your Feet When Turning Or Moving
Proper body mechanics is just as important in standing, as lifting. When you are in standing position, be sure to keep your feet about twelve inches apart and flat on the floor. Shoulders should be down, chest out, and back straight. If you practice proper body mechanics, at all times, it will become easier over time to follow these few simple techniques, which will also reduce potential risks of injuries.
Overexertion is definitely a big cause of injuries. Many people may not link overexertion to injuries, but it is very closely related. These types of injuries normally occur from lifting extremely heavy objects, working in awkward positions, accidental falls, pushing, and tugging. Most of these activities are required by nurses to complete their job duties properly. The most common overexertion injury is lumbosacral sprains, and strains are also known as worker’s compensation injuries. Things that you can do to prevent overexertion injuries includes:
– Lifting Lighter Loads
– Request Assistance When Lifting and Transferring Patients
– Strength Training and Stretching Exercises
– Fatigue And Exhaustion
Nursing is definitely a very exhausting and difficult profession. One must be capable of dealing with heavy workloads and stressful situations, while being able to remain calm and cheerful throughout. Eating healthy foods can help boost your energy and fight fatigue. Getting a good night’s sleep is important, but as you already know that is going to be a challenge, with your long work schedule. Maintaining a good exercise regimen will benefit you in many different ways. Several exercises that are beneficial in helping relieve back pain and strengthening the back muscles include:
– Reverse Fly
– Bent Over Roll
– Swan Dive
Ergonomics is basically the science of people at work. Healthy and safe postures and proper movements will help reduce your risks of potential injuries.