Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data shows healthcare workers perennially suffer more injuries — requiring time away from work — than those of any other profession. In 2016, the healthcare and social assistance industry reported 629,500 cases of injury and illness to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s 152,000 more cases than in manufacturing, the next highest industry sector; and more than 80% resulting in time off from work.
Overexertion, being struck by an object, and falls represent an equal share of the injuries and are the leading ways in which healthcare workers are hurt on the job. These events account for more than one-half of the nonfatal injuries and illnesses that resulted in days away from work (BLS, 2015). When emotional and mental stress builds up, it often manifests in physical ways, causing headaches, fatigue, depression, gastrointestinal distress, or back/neck pain. Workload overload and burnout can result from insufficient nurse-to-patient ratios or mandatory overtime during periods of short-staffing.
The phrase “culture of safety” is a common buzzword in healthcare these days, however, this phrase is more focused on keeping patients safe from errors and injury, while workplace safety for nurses has received less attention. Nurses are asked to move heavy mobile equipment and step over chords that result in trip hazards and potential back injuries. The fact is, a failure to keep nurses safe from workplace hazards, illness, or injury can have direct consequences on patient care. When nurses have physical problems like a back injury, chronic fatigue from overexertion or experience a fall on the job, they’re likely to retire early or change careers. This can can contribute to the looming nursing shortage, while those who stay on the job may experience job dissatisfaction and burnout – which research has linked to higher rates of poor outcomes and reduced patient satisfaction.
THE TAKEAWAY: When nurses are healthy, well rested, and safe on the job, they have greater job-satisfaction — which, in turn, has a positive impact on patient outcomes and quality of care.
We invite you to see how ELORA, the lightest weight mobile power solution on the market, can help create a safer environment that is free of chords and trip hazards, while also reducing the risk of back injuries from over exertion. Visit out site at www.elorapower.com.