Safety in the Nursing Profession
Safety in nursing refers to the precautions nurses should take in the course of their duties in order to prevent themselves from cases of injury besides protecting their patients. In the article “Keeping Nurses Safe,” by Jennifer L.W. Fink a registered nurse in the United States of America, she terms nursing as one of the most risky professions (Fink, 2013). The article puts emphasis on the fact that nurses as part of the health workers get the most injuries compared to any other workers in any other profession. Jennifer supports her arguments based on various statistics for example in 2010, a report from the Public Citizen showed how nurses beat the manufacturing workers in terms of injury whereby 654,000 healthcare workers were injured compared to 502,000 manufacturing workers (Weber and Janet, 2014).
In the article, she explains how nurses undergo violence in their workplaces that prevents them from going to work for several days. Some of the violence comes from the patients who are in pain and due to delays of getting treatments, their conditions trigger violent outbursts. In the emergency departments, nurses always put complain of being abused besides being threatened. She also says that nurses also are abused from their colleagues at work but normally these nurses have conditioned themselves not to speak up due to the nature of the nursing practice whereby a patient is considered to come first before anything else. Since nurses work closely with patients and the patient’s families, she views it to be wrong for them to prevent these patients or people from getting any injuries but in the end subjecting themselves to injuries such as back pains and musculoskeletal injuries.
The article outlines various ways that nurses can use to stay safe at work for example by using lifting devices when moving around at all times possible (Weintraub and Arlene, 2014). This will be one way of preventing backaches and possible injury when moving patients. Nurses should also stay away from unsafe scenarios whereby they are made uncomfortable; they should get away and reach out for security people or fellow colleagues. This will help nurses avoid physical attack or verbal attack from the patients hence they will save themselves from being worked out or being stressed up (Egenes and KJ, 2015). Nurses should also advocate for safety measures from both the government and administration by telling them the risks they face and why improving on security measures can help them to work efficiently at their workplace. Nurses should also be at the forefront to safeguard themselves from needle sticks because they can transfer pathogens, which cause diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B. Lastly she argues that nurses should adhere to proper hygienic measures and procedures such as wearing gloves when handling patients in order to protect themselves from catching infectious diseases.
In conclusion, the article puts emphasis on the safety of nurses and why they should be protected from injuries they can easily avoid. She argues that as nurses may be doing the right thing in their course of work by protecting their patients from injuries but they too should value themselves, their health and wellness.
“Defining nursing 2014”. Royal College of Nursing (RCN). 22 December 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
Egenes, KJ(2009). “History of nursing”. In Halstead, J, Roux, G. Issues and Trends in Nursing: Essential Knowledge for Today and Tomorrow. Sudbury, Ma: Jones and Bartlett. P.2. ISBN 9780763752255
Weintraub, Arlene ( June 3, 2002). “ Nursing: On the Critical List”. Business week.
Weber, Janet (2014). Nurses’ handbook of health assessment. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/ Lippincott & Wilkins Health ISBN 9781451142822.
Jennifer L.W. Fink (August 21, 2013). Keeping Nurses Safe:Nursing is one of the most dangerous professions.