Registered nurses face one of the most physically demanding jobs possible, with many doing back-breaking labor every single day. On top of that, nurses are actually the most likely to suffer from illness or injury compared to other workers in the health care sector.
Though this is due in part to the high number of registered nurses – they make up the bulk of the health field workforce – it also includes inherent risks that come with the position.
Slips, trips and falls
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics discusses the most common injuries registered nurses face. First, you have slips, trips and falls. This category of injury is relatively self-explanatory and involves slipping on slick surfaces, tripping over uneven flooring, or falling from any height. You can even have a fall incident by stumbling down the last step of a staircase. This is the second most common injury type that registered nurses face, and one-quarter of all injuries fall into this category.
Overexertion is the most common type, accounting for 45.6 percent of all injuries affecting registered nurses. This type of injury occurs due to repetitive motion or the excessive use of physical effort. Constant twisting and bending may contribute, along with lifting patients, which is one of the most common tasks that registered nurses must deal with.
Finally, you face an elevated risk of violent events. This can include injury by an animal or a patient. This violence is higher for registered nurses than any other profession. In fact, as a registered nurse, you are up to three times more likely to experience injury due to violent events than all other occupations combined. Thus, registered nurses face many injuries and ailments that no one else can compete with.