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Why are health care professionals prone to workplace injuries?

Health care professionals have the duty of treating patients on a regular basis. They take their job seriously, as they realize that their decisions can and will have an impact on others, typically those who are ill or injured.

Despite the fact that health care professionals do their best to help others, they often put themselves at risk of injury.

Health care workers who handle patients on a regular basis are at risk of injury. This is due in large part to overexertion in relation to repeated tasks, such as helping patients from one bed to another. During this time, the worker is often in an awkward position, which can increase the likelihood of an injury.

Some of the most common high risk patient handling tasks include: lifting a patient in bed, transferring patients from one location to another, repositioning a patient, or attempting to make a bed without removing the patient.

A health care professional can suffer any type of accident, however, strains and sprains are among the most common. This includes injuries to the lower back and shoulders, among other body parts.

Despite the fact that health care professionals are trained on how to deal with all the responsibilities of their job, it is not always easy to avoid injury. Instead, the repetition eventually wears on them, thus leading to an injury that can cause serious pain and/or discomfort.

If a health care worker is injured on the job, it is best for him or her to take time off. This way they do not cause additional damage or put patients in a dangerous position.

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "Safe Patient Handling," accessed Aug. 24, 2015

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