Healthcare Changes Causing Work Injuries for Nurses

I was reading a recent article discussing changes in healthcare. In a survey, the American Nurses Association stated that 50% of the nurses report insufficient time with patients. 54% say they are managing excessive workloads. 43% point to an increase in overtime and that 77% of those are working 12-hour shifts. A third of the nurses say current staffing levels are inadequate. 40% of the nursing units are reportedly short-staffed. To further complicate the matter, 96% say they experience fatigue even at the start of the shift.

Having excessive fatigue during work can lead to increased mental mistakes at work. It also leads to increased muscle-cell-skeletal pain. Of that same group, 50% reported having low back pain, 52% shoulder pain, and 48% experience neck pain.

While this was a survey of nurses, I think many of those symptoms and percentages are similar across many companies and occupations. We are alert, working longer hours, and are often performing more in a day now than we did several years ago. Nurses have various jobs in their settings, but many are required to sit, stand, carry, and lift more than the average individual. The combination of long work hours and repetitive activities increases their risk of postural neck pain, shoulder injuries, and back sprains; which was reported by the story.

Improve Work Conditions and Reduce Risks of Injuries

Sometimes every office needs to take a look and see what they do well and what they can improve upon in the workplace. Are we overworking our staff and increasing muscle and joint pain. Are there little things we could do to make a big difference with the health of our employees and staff, whether it being short breaks, changing job restrictions, managing lifting exercises, adding in an extra staff member in an area, or adding chiropractic care to the workplace.  

Every organization needs to be aware of the risk of injuries and how it can affect the rest of its staff. Looking for the little things can often make a big difference in the health of employees.