Nursing, The Noble Profession, they say. But oftentimes we forget about the dangers that come with the profession. When we talk about dangerous professions, nursing may be the last thing that may come to mind but the critical analysis will reveal how dangerous the nursing profession is. The following are a few examples showing how dangerous the nursing profession is:
Exposure To Radiations: This is mostly overlooked because it doesn’t pose an immediate danger to the nurse. In carrying out nursing duties such a holding a patient during x-ray and caring for patients who are undergoing nuclear medicine tests and implants. Pregnant women are most at risk. Continuous exposure can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and other adverse reproductive outcomes.
Physical Strain: Have you ever returned from duty and it felt like you were asked to carry the whole world on your head? Just imagine, two “small” nurses having to carry an immobile patient from a stretcher or wheelchair to a bed. No matter the lifting technique adopted, it poses a physical strain on the nurse. This often results in back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries. This is even common among theatre nurses where you are required to stand for long hours during surgical operations.
Violence: If you work in a psychiatric hospital then it is likely you have been assaulted by a patient before. Most patients due to the nature of their condition become physically and verbally aggressive. In trying to restrain these kinds of patients, nurses become victims of patient assault which result in various form of injuries. There have been instances where a nurses’ ear is bitten, being slapped, and a whole lot which even leads to permanent disability.
Dangerous Chemical: The nurse is exposed to a variety of hazardous chemicals in the hospital. This may be in the form of gas, liquids, and solids. Breakages of clinical items such as thermometer or sphygmomanometer may lead to exposure to mercury. Exposure to high levels may cause acute poisoning and sometimes death. Exposure to other substances such as formaldehyde which may be found in disinfectant solutions may cause allergic dermatitis, eye irritation, and occupational asthma.
Needle Pricks: This is of the most common form of injury among nurses. Even though it might not be severe, the danger is the risk of infection associated with it. Some nurses have been left with chronic and life-threatening conditions due to needle injury.
All these are but a few of the dangers nurses face daily in their line of work.