Hospital employees have many risks when they’re working. These can vary considerably depending on the person’s position and duties. It’s up to supervisors and administrators to anticipate these hazards and provide workers with a safe environment.
There are a few common risks that are universal in most hospital settings.
1. Exposure to infections
Hospitals are environments where various infectious diseases are present. You may be at risk of exposure to harmful pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses and fungal infections while providing care to patients or handling medical equipment.
2. Needlestick injuries
Accidental needlesticks can occur while handling or disposing of sharp objects like needles or scalpels. These injuries can potentially lead to the transmission of bloodborne pathogens, such as HIV or hepatitis.
3. Workplace violence
Hospital employees may encounter aggressive or violent behavior from patients, visitors or even coworkers. This can include verbal or physical threats, harassment or assault.
4. Slips, trips and falls
Wet floors, cluttered hallways and uneven surfaces can increase the risk of slip, trip, and fall accidents, potentially resulting in injuries like sprains, fractures or even head trauma.
5. Musculoskeletal injuries
Lifting, moving, or repositioning patients and equipment can strain your muscles and joints, leading to injuries such as strains, sprains and back pain. Prolonged standing, repetitive movements or poor workstation design can also contribute to musculoskeletal disorders or chronic pain.
6. Radiation exposure
If you work in areas where diagnostic or therapeutic radiological procedures are performed, you may be exposed to ionizing radiation, which can increase the risk of developing certain health conditions or cancer over time.
Any hospital employee that suffers an injury at work should get medical care right away. Some might want to finish their shift to ensure their patients are cared for, but this can cause more harm than good.