As a nurse in Wisconsin, you want to do all you can to stay safe. It begins with what you do outside of work. For example, some nurses injure themselves because drowsiness made them inattentive. Lack of sleep, together with a poor diet and lack of exercise, can also compromise the immune system and make one more susceptible to illness.
Staying up to date on immunizations
In addition to exercising regularly, eating nutrient-dense foods and taking probiotics, you should be up to date on your vaccinations. The flu vaccine is perhaps the most important as influenza can easily spread through coughing and sneezing. Hepatitis B and tetanus are just two other pathogens that nurses should be immunized against.
You can prevent illness through the right use of personal protective equipment, too, such as masks, eye protection, gowns and gloves. The number one way to avoid illness is by regularly washing your hands.
Avoiding needlestick and ergonomic injuries
Hospital personnel suffer 385,000 needlestick- and sharps-related injuries every year in the U.S., so you should know how to safely handle and dispose of needles. Other common injuries among nurses are ergonomic injuries, which underscore the need for good body mechanics. Some nurses injure their backs trying to lift patients, so rather than go it alone, nurses should call for help or use a lift and transfer device.
When to file a workers’ compensation claim
Perhaps you did everything possible to stay safe and yet incurred an occupational injury or illness. You may pursue a workers’ compensation case to be reimbursed for the cost of any medical treatments, prescriptions and so on as well as for a portion of your lost wages. Since employers have the right to deny payment, you may want legal representation. If an appeal must be mounted, the lawyer may assist with this.