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Workplace Hazards in Nursing

Workplace Hazards in Nursing

For a healthcare system to function properly, the nursing profession must be included as key players in achieving goals. Nurses, in theory, play an important role in the healthcare industry. They are concerned with the care of individuals, communities, and families in order to help society maintain, achieve, and regain optimal health and quality of life. In addition, I spent more time with patients than other healthcare practitioners. As a result, the nursing profession in healthcare plays a larger role in ensuring that every patient in their facilities is well cared for and on the road to recovery. Nurses typically work under the supervision of a physician or a registered doctor, and their primary responsibilities include constant contact with patients in hospitals. Nurse practitioners, on the other hand, have the skills to perform some of the functions of physicians.

Nursing duties in healthcare typically include caring for patients, communicating with doctors and physicians, administering medication, and checking vital signs. It is worth noting that nurses are not assigned to a specific department of the facility; rather, they are trained to perform a variety of duties in the healthcare system, such as in hospitals, schools, offices, home healthcare settings, clinics, pharmacies, and so on. On a typical day, nurses are expected to perform a variety of tasks, such as greeting new patients and performing physical exams, drawing blood and performing health-related testing, engaging patients to determine their various needs, and providing no physical or emotional support. To ensure that intended goals are met, nurses collaborate with other healthcare providers in the performance of various health processes in the hospital, such as in the surgical unit.

Problem

As nurses work to provide a safe environment in healthcare facilities, they frequently face workplace hazards that endanger their lives. These risks arise from their exposure to various bloodborne pathogens as they interact with patients in the course of their duties. Nurses should ideally be on the front of assisting patties with their various needs, such as wound dressing and first aid. The nurse may contract bloodborne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis during the event (American Sentinel University,2017). Furthermore, these outcomes are the result of events in which nurses are accidentally pierced by contaminated needles, resulting in a contradiction of bloodborne diseases in the workplace. In addition, nurses are frequently exposed to germs, which can lead to a variety of diseases such as dermatitis and cold, and flu disease.

Furthermore, nurses are exposed to these workplace hazards due to the possibility of an injury occurring while working. This type of hazard occurs due to a variety of factors, including insufficient knowledge of how to use certain tools in the workplace, and it can result in sharps injuries. In addition, needlestick injuries are a common problem in the nursing profession (Walton & Walter, 2017). This occurs when nurses administer medication to patients and may inadvertently pierce themselves with needles, even when conducting tests in the laboratory, resulting in injuries in addition to the previously mentioned transmission of bloodborne diseases. Injuries occur as they move around the hospital, attending to various patients, which may result in incidents of stripping and being injured.

The primary goals of addressing this issue are to raise awareness among the general public and the entire healthcare system, as this issue has previously gone unnoticed. This will be important in the development of strategies to eliminate conditions that endanger nurses as they work to maintain the quality of health in society. It is critical that strategies be developed in order to ensure that both patients and nurses are treated fairly in the system. Furthermore, addressing this issue will encourage hospitals to invest in appropriate procedures and protective equipment that will increase their security. Recognizing their efforts and addressing the issue of work hazards would prevent future occurrences of such hazards and their prevailing effects on the nursing profession.

Search Techniques

Because this research would be about nursing and the problems that this profession faces, my main goal was to find out more about this problem, specifically workplace hazards. My main source of information was the university library database, which I used to find a variety of online books that would be useful for my research. Nursing, nursing challenges, hazards, and issues were among the keywords used in the search. Boolean operators, such as “AND,” were used as a research searching technique to combine keywords to produce a variety of results that would make the search process successful. The books obtained were then further filtered to identify recent, within the last five years, to ensure that the results obtained were directly related to the topic of using database search tools.

In addition, I had to use online databases to gather information from newspapers and website articles. The American Nurses Association website and The New York Times website are among the website databases used to obtain finer information. The decision to use online databases was made because they provide a wide range of information from around the world. This strategy employs keywords similar to those used in a university library; the articles primarily considered in this case are journals, newspapers, and dissertations. Synonyms were used in this strategy to generate additional information that would help the research succeed. The results were further narrowed by identifying those that are directly related to workplace hazards, contaminations, and injuries.

Evidence Level

Critically acclaimed articles were used as evidence in this study. This is due to the systematic process used to identify the article’s strengths and weaknesses prior to incorporating them into the research. As a result, we can say that the article filtration assisted in the identification of relevant articles for the study (Libguides, 2020). The appropriateness of the study design for the study question was assessed. In addition, the methodological features of the study’s design were evaluated.

The statistical methods used were also taken into account. This is done to determine their suitability for the research and, thus, whether they will provide the best evidence for the study. Following the interpretation of the method and potential conflicts of interest engaged in the methods to provide relevance for the sources for my research elicited critical appraisal of the articles (Libguides, 2020). As a result, the evidence used in this study is appropriate for the research question. They are relevant to the topic of study and provide sufficient information to justify this nursing issue.

Review of Literature

Infectious diseases are common workplace hazards that nurses face while providing care. In healthcare facilities, nurses are frequently exposed to HIV, Hepatitis B, MRSA, and tuberculosis. Some of these occur as a result of bloodborne pathogen exposure during injuries such as needlesticks (Walton & Walter, 2017). This exposure is said to affect approximately 800,00 healthcare personnel worldwide each year. As a result, it demonstrates that it is a common problem that requires attention.

Furthermore, dermatitis, which is usually caused by improper handwashing, is a common problem among nurses in the healthcare industry. This is due to nurses and healthcare professionals failing to follow proper hand hygiene protocols. Ideally, it is obvious that handwashing chemicals typically contain substances that have negative effects on healthcare professionals (Barker, 2018). However, while this hygiene is important and should be considered by all medical personnel in order to avoid contamination, it instead exposes them to more harmful effects. Many health professionals who contract this disease are said to have contracted it through these handwashing protocols, making them a threat.

Physical injuries, ranging from minor to severe, have also been identified as a threat to nurses working in healthcare. Nurses typically perform manual tasks such as repositioning patients, which can result in negative consequences if an accident occurs. Nurses also work in awkward positions, which causes them discomfort and may result in accidents as they strain with their work (Barker, 2018). Accidents frequently cause injury not only to the nurse but also to the patient in the immediate vicinity of the event. As a result, this becomes one of the more common issues that must be addressed in order to avoid further inconveniences.

Emotional distress is another issue that affects the nursing profession. Nurses are frequently exposed to a wide range of traumatic situations and events as they care for patients suffering from various illnesses in order to maintain and even improve their health. As a result of this, the nurses may become emotionally impacted to the point of distress (Kowalczuk et al., 2018). During night shifts, nurses may experience sleep deprivation, which, when combined with the distress experienced by patients, may result in a cascade of effects. Emotional distress has a negative impact on service delivery, lowering its quality.

Radiation exposure is especially dangerous for nurses working in radiology departments. This is due to ionizing radiation exposure, which has mutagenic and teratogenic properties, which leads to more effects, such as an increase in the risk of miscarriage. As a result, nurses may be exposed to these hazards as they undergo radiographs, resulting in increased risk exposure (Walton & Walter, 2017). As a result, personnel in the nursing department are frequently exposed to health risks while performing their duties. It is critical that strategies are put in place to reduce these exposures and thus save lives.

Solutions

Various measures are put in place to protect nurses from infectious diseases in the workplace in order to avoid the effects of these infections. They include the provision of personal protective equipment for nurses to use while on the job in order to avoid exposure to these disease agents. Furthermore, various handwashing chemicals free of dermatitis agents have been introduced for use in this protocol (Tachdjian, 2020). This aims to ensure that the handwashing protocol is free of hazards that commonly affect health professionals at work. Physical injuries have been eliminated by providing automated equipment and training on how to use them to avoid injuries.

The emotional distress caused by various working conditions has been alleviated by ensuring that various employees participate in various motivational sessions. These sessions aim to instill a positive attitude in them, resulting in the generation of ideas to help them solve their problems (Tachdjian, 2020). Furthermore, possible causes of this distress are eliminated, such as by scheduling alternations in night shift operations. OSHA’s ionizing radiation standard is intended to protect workers in the radiology department; exposure limits of three times per quarter are also in place to protect these professionals.

Conclusions

The nursing profession is important in the healthcare system; nurses play a critical role in ensuring that health is maintained throughout the world. However, as they strive to care for patients in their respective facilities, these nurses face a slew of issues at work. They are exposed to infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and others, putting their lives in danger. Physical injuries are also potential hazards that put nurses’ lives at risk while they work; this is caused by poor working conditions and straining at work, which increases the likelihood of accidents. There is a risk of emotional distress as a result of working conditions, as well as health risks from radiation.

The search methods used to locate resources and evidence for this study were obtained from the University website; this was chosen because it is more convenient and provides a wider range of books. The resources were found by searching for keywords such as nursing issues, hazards, and challenges, which yielded a wide range of results. The keywords were combined using Boolean operators, which filtered the results to be more relevant to the topic of study. This study obtained critical-appraised articles as its level of evidence. This is due to the fact that a systematic process was used to identify the article’s strengths and weaknesses before incorporating them into the research, as well as their suitability for use in the study.

Several strategies have been implemented to address these workplace hazards, including the provision of personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of infectious diseases. This has proven to provide more protection for these nurses while working in healthcare, lowering the rates of workplace infections. OSHA’s radiology regulations also provide greater protection for both patients and nurses in the workplace, ensuring that they are safe from hazards. More strategies must be implemented to ensure more consideration and protection for nurses, thereby improving their morale toward the provision of quality services.

References

American Sentinel University. (2017). Nurses Face Workplace Hazards – The Sentinel Watch. The Sentinel Watch. Retrieved 28 November 2020, from https://www.americansentinel.edu/blog/2017/09/26/nurses-face-workplace-hazards/.

Barker, L. (2018). Challenges of Nursing: Workplace Hazards – BOS Medical Staffing. BOS Medical Staffing. Retrieved 28 November 2020, from https://www.bosmedicalstaffing.com/2018/08/22/challenges-of-nursing-workplace- hazards/.

Kowalczuk, K., Krajewska-Kułak, E., & Sobolewski, M. (2018). Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace as an Aspect of Horizontal Segregation in the Nursing Profession. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 2042.

Libguides. (2020). LibGuides: Evidence-Based Practice for Health Professionals: Levels of Evidence. Libguides.nvcc.edu. Retrieved 28 November 2020, from https://libguides.nvcc.edu/c.php?g=361218&p=2439383.

Tachdjian, M. (2020). Are Nurses Protected From Workplace Hazards? Working Nurse. Retrieved 28 November 2020, from https://www.workingnurse.com/articles/Are- Nurses-Protected-From-Workplace-Hazards.

Walton, A. L., & Rogers, B. (2017). Workplace hazards faced by nursing assistants in the United States: a focused literature review. International Journal of environmental research and public health, 14(5), 544.

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Question 


Directions:

Nurses face hazards every day in the workplace. These hazards are not just exposure to radiation or possible chemical exposures. We live in a society with increasing violence towards healthcare professionals. Take some time to research the many hazards you will face as you take care of your patients. Describe one hazard that could harm you, your colleagues, and your patients in the healthcare setting. What actions can nurses take to prevent harm to their patients or themselves?

Workplace Hazards in Nursing

Workplace Hazards in Nursing

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