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Workplace safety tips for even experienced nurses

As a nurse working in a North Carolina hospital, you probably understand how important your job is to your patients. In order to continue helping people and saving lives, your health is just as important. In order to maintain your health, it is important to guard against a workplace accident or illness.

Hospitals can be extremely dangerous places to work. Not only do you constantly risk exposure to contagious diseases, but there are numerous other hazards around every corner. Follow these safety tips to reduce your risk of illness or injury.

Needle sticks

Since 2001, the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act has provided regulations that require hospitals to use needles that meet certain safety standards. The purpose of this is to protect nurses and other hospital staff from inadvertently sticking themselves or others with dirty needles. The two times you are most at risk of a needlestick is when you draw blood at the end of your shift or when staff numbers are down.

Back injuries

One of the most common causes of injuries for nurses is lifting patients. Even lifting a light object, if done improperly, can result in an injury to your head, neck or back. Instead of trying lift patients, use mechanical lifts. When moving patients, push instead of pulling their beds and don't overreach. In addition, always lift with your legs while keeping your back straight and bending your knees. This will transfer the strain from your lower or upper back to your legs. Also, get other staff members to help you when you have to lift a patient.

Latex

Even a mild latex allergy can result in a rash on your hands, and a more severe allergy could cause you to go into anaphylactic shock. You can even develop an allergy over the course of time as you wear latex gloves and continuously come into contact with the powder that the manufacturers put inside of them. If the hospital you work in does not have powder-free gloves on hand, you should request that they add these to their inventory. However, if you have to use latex gloves, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you take them off.

If you are a nurse, the above tips can help you avoid a workplace accident. However, if you do suffer an injury due to an incident at work, you might be able to file for workers' compensation.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A.
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Cary, NC 27511

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