Medical workers, in particular nurses often work in a high-stress environment. There is usually someone’s life at risk, and therefore, they do not care about workplace health and safety. In times of emergency, most of the nurses do not even give workplace health and safety a thought. You need to understand however that it is not necessary to take out elaborate time and alter your schedule to maintain workplace health and safety. You can do so while meeting all the deadlines and fulfilling your responsibility as a nurse.

We will today share with you eight workplace health and safety tips for nurses. These steps can be practiced comfortably and will make your life better professionally and personally.

1. Handle sharp objects carefully

As a nurse, you will handle a lot of sharp objects. You are always vulnerable to these sharp objects like needlestick. More than the object itself, the blood-borne pathogens are risky. Hence; it is essential to handle these carefully. You can reduce the health and safety hazards of such pathogens by following a few safety guidelines. These include:

  • Always use gloves, mask and eye protection while handling such needles.
  • If you’re in the vicinity of the patient, you should always use a gown as well.
  • You have to ensure that the needles which you use have safety caps.
  • You have to be careful while drawing blood from the patients.
  • You should not perform any such activity in haste.

If you follow these five guidelines, it is easy to avoid injuries from sharp objects and protect yourself from the pathogens. It is one of the essential workplace safety tips which you should follow.

“We live in an increasingly digitized world”, says David Rowland, the head of marketing at Effective Software, “and this should be reflected in your health and safety systems. The days of paper-based systems are gone: they are lacking in security, efficiently and are simply not fit for purpose.” This is perhaps why many now recommend using health and safety software to keep track of your business’s needs in this area.

2. Do not forget the gloves

In haste, many nurses forget using gloves. It can prove to be an expensive blunder. You always have to ensure that you use gloves when dealing with patients or even when you are in the hospital premises. It minimizes any chance of getting infected. It will help you maintain your health.

Most of the hospital grade gloves consist of latex. The problem is that such gloves can also cause allergies. That is why; you have to follow a few tips to use them and avoid such allergies in the same place. These include:

  • You should wash your hands after removing the latex gloves.
  • You have to avoid using oil-based lotions when using the gloves.
  • You have to wear synthetic gloves along with the latex gloves to prevent such allergy.

Following these guidelines will ensure that you can use gloves and at the same time avoid latex allergy.

3. Be wary of the weight

The job of a nurse often involves lifting patients or supporting them. The problem is that most of the patients are not aware of the pressure which they can put on the nurse. Hence, you can easily suffer from a neck, back or head injury. You have to ensure that you do not lift anything more than 50 lbs.

When you shift the patients, it is better to push instead of pull. You have to stay as close to the bed or the machine as possible. It will ensure that the strain on your arms and shoulders is minimal. If you lift someone from the waist level, it is always better to get another nurse to help you. It will reduce the pressure on your body. When you follow these simple tips, it becomes easy to avoid any injury while doing your job.

4. Be alert to avoid workplace violence

An average person might think that a hospital or clinic is a safe place to work. A nurse would know better. Workplace violence is pretty common in hospitals and clinics. Hence; as a nurse, you have to be always alert of your surroundings. Workplace violence is usual during meals and visiting hours. If you work in a hospital which has low staffing during the night time, then you have to be extra cautious. You have to be alert about the crime rate in the surroundings of the hospital. It will help you better prepare yourself for any eventuality.

It is always advisable to stay along with other nurses when you’re working in the hospital. You have to also familiarize yourself with the history of the patients and their health problems. Doing so will help you avoid such a situation. Also, when you sense an uncomfortable situation, you must call a fellow nurse. It will help you handle any aggressive patient or relatives. Hospital or clinic violence is not unheard of. That is why; you always have to be alert to avoid getting into such a situation.

5. Use the services of the ancillary staff

Many patients suffer from diseases and ailments which make them susceptible to falling. When dealing with such a patient, it is a good idea to use the services of the ancillary staff. It will allow you to reduce your burden and ensure that the patients get the proper care.

Most hospitals have the ancillary staff to handle such patients. Instead of being the primary aid in such a situation, you have to be a secondary aid to the ancillary staff. It will help you not only reduce your workload but ensure that you do not suffer from any back or hand injuries while tending to such patients. The patient can get proper care which reduces their chance of falling.

6. Adapt to your shifts

One of the main concerns for most of the nurses is the shifts in which they work. It is essential for you to always adapt according to your work-shifts. When the work shift ends, you have to minimize the loss of time. You have to get home and catch on sleep as much as possible. You never know when you might be called for an extra shift. That is why; you always have to adapt your lifestyle to your work timings. You have to try and gain sleep and rest as much as possible. Once you do so, it is easy for you to take care of your health.

Most of the hospitals and clinics prepare the shift chart at least one week in advance. That is why; you can easily plan your lifestyle. While it is certainly not easy but once you adapt to your shifts, you can take care of your health and ensure that you get proper rest and sleep. It will also help you improve your workplace awareness and fulfill your duties as a nurse in a much better way.

7. Avoid the vending machine

At times, your shift can become monotonous. It is especially true during the night shifts. Your workload might be less, and therefore, most of the nurses indulge in binge eating. While you might be hungry but it is better to stay away from the vending machine. Most of the hospitals have vending machines full of snacks and foodstuffs which are rich in sodium or sugar. If you consume such foods regularly, you will not only gain weight but also suffer from a lot of other ailments. Hence; you must avoid the vending machine on your shift.

The best solution to do so is to use the following tips:

  • You should pack healthy snacks while getting ready for work.
  • You should bring an apple or banana to avoid binge eating.
  • You should pack smaller meals so that you can eat frequently and satisfy your hunger.

Once you follow these three guidelines, it becomes easy to avoid binge eating.

8. Do not avoid counseling

The job of a nurse is pretty stressful. You are always on tenterhooks. It can take a toll on your mental attitude. That is why most of the hospitals and clinics have in-house counselors. Instead of avoiding such counselors, you have to go for periodic counseling. It will help you maintain your mental health.

So, if as a nurse you’re looking to maintain Occupational Health & Safety, these are the eight tips which you should consistently follow. These tips will not only help you progress in your career but also take care of your health. Ultimately, it will make you a better professional and therefore increase your chances of progressing in your career as well. These tips will help you achieve the perfect work-life balance which will benefit you in the longer run.

Author's Bio: 

I, Jimish Shah am a Professional Blogger, Digital Marketer, Content Marketer & an SEO expert with a 5+ experience. I work with new startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and bloggers. The main motive behind my concept is to disseminate more knowledge about various topics to present – day youth.