As the demand for healthcare experts grows, nursing has become a popular career path nationwide. But new data from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that nurses and nursing assistants suffer more injuries than any other profession.
"Nurses are exposed to several risk factors and injuries within the workplace," said Eva Pratt, Registered Nurse Clinical Manager at Community Healthcare Center.
One injury factor includes workplace violence from patients.
"Workplace violence can range from a patient just raising their voice anywhere to physical assault. So we need to ensure that employees are trained and educated in how to respond to patients who can become violent," she said.
Nurses and nursing assistants also have to watch out for sharp equipment and most importantly moving, turning and sliding heavier patients.
"As the obesity rates increase within the U.S., these are some of the things that we as nurses have to deal with," said Pratt.
The most common are spine and musculoskeletal injuries nationwide. In order to prevent these injuries, nurses and nursing assistants go through extensive training to learn proper body mechanics.
"You use your leg muscles to lift or move these patients rather than using your back, because the strain goes onto your spine," said Pratt.
Despite the high risk of injury, Pratt is one of many to say that her job is completely worth it seeing her patients smiling at the end of the day.
"You see the patients feeling better, you see the families they're satisfied with the care that you've given. You get the personal satisfaction that you've done your personal best," she said.
Aside from learning proper body mechanics, nurses and nursing assistants are also trained on infection control and workplace safety.
Other jobs that have high injury rates include tractor-trailer truck drivers, construction laborers, retail salespersons and janitors/cleaners.