A healthy work environment creates a culture of safety and well-being for all employees. This is especially important in the healthcare industry, where workers face various hazards and risks daily. As a nursing professional in Maryland, it is crucial to prioritize your health by avoiding injuries and illnesses via the following methods.
Proper body mechanics
As a nurse, you move and lift patients and equipment often. It’s something you can’t stop or avoid because it is part of your job. Despite the advancements in patient transfer techniques, the repetitive nature of these activities increases the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. After some time, you’ll start experiencing lower back pain, shoulder strains and even neck pains.
One way to minimize these injuries is by utilizing proper body mechanics. This involves using your strongest muscles to lift patients, maintaining a wide base of support and keeping the patients a little closer to your body (while maintaining a safe distance) when lifting or transferring them.
Being careful with sharp objects
Needles, knives and scalpels left in patient rooms or care facilities are often contaminated with pathogens or harmful substances. A slight prick can result in infections like HIV, Hepatitis B and C. This is why it is mandatory by law for hospitals and all other healthcare facilities to use needles with safety caps and have gloves, gowns, masks and eye protection available. In fact, besides getting workers’ compensation benefits when injured, you can sue your employer in Maryland if they fail to provide access to these safety measures.
Maintaining hand hygiene
Healthcare facilities are a prime breeding ground for germs and bacteria. As a nursing professional, you know that hand hygiene is crucial in preventing the spread of infections. It’s important to wash your hands frequently with anti-microbial soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer before and after patient contact.
At the end of the day, establishing a culture of safety is more than a compliance checkbox; it’s an investment in the health and longevity of dedicated healthcare professionals. As a nurse, your vigilance and commitment towards your health and well-being don’t just help you as a person but ensure a safe and healthy environment for your colleagues and patients alike. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.