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Nursing: A high-risk occupation for beginners

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2015 | Workers' Compensation

Health care professionals in New Jersey may be interested in a recent report regarding the dangers of nursing. The study, which was conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded RN Work Project, found that freshly licensed nurses face a higher risk of on-the-job injuries than their more-experienced counterparts.

The primary causes that can lead to injuries among new nurses include excessively large workloads, night shifts and overtime. Under such circumstances, these nurses can become psychologically and physically stressed as they are learning the responsibilities and tasks of their new career. According to the report’s lead investigator, patient care and nurse safety improve together whenever intervention is made to decrease stress-related issues among new nurses.

The results of the study also found that nurses under 30 who took on heavy workloads and lacked the ability to work alone were more likely to receive injuries from needles. Additionally, night shift nurses and full-time nurses who work an extra eight hours weekly are more likely to be injured with needles. Lastly, night shift nurses who carry an unusually high workload and whose health is poor average a higher number of sprains and strains than their counterparts.

According to a study by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, nurses face a higher percentage of on-the-job risks for injuries than construction workers, correctional officers and law enforcement officials. In order to protect workers from these dangers, workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees who experience a work-related injury or illness. Benefits may include compensation for medical costs and a portion of the employee’s earnings missed during the recuperation period.