Health care workers provide medical aid to people who are sick or hurt. Ironically, their work can put them at work for injuries or illnesses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 3 million registered nurses working in the United States. Among health care workers, they have some of the highest rates of injury or illness. Here are some statistics about work-related injuries among registered nurses.
Nurses work in many different environments, including hospitals, private clinics, nursing homes, schools and even private homes as home health aides. Nearly three-quarters of all work-related injuries or illnesses that registered nurses experience take place in hospitals.
Age and work experience
Nurses who have been with their employer for more than five years miss more days of work because of occupational injuries than those who have been with an employer for less than five years.
Regardless of the length of employment, most nurses with occupational injuries are between the ages of 45 and 54.
Approximately 90% of all occupational injuries in nursing affect women. However, nursing is a female-dominated profession, which is proportionate to the number of female nurses overall. There does not appear to be any gender discrepancy or disparate impact when it comes to occupational injuries among nurses.
The top three causes of occupational injuries among registered nurses are, in ascending order, violence by persons or animals; slips, trips and falls and overexertion. Nearly half of all work-related injuries among nurses are due to overexertion, which usually occurs during patient transfers.
Learning proper lifting techniques and ergonomics may help nurses to avoid overexertion injuries.