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Nurses are the backbone of any health facility. Hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, public health departments, schools – the list goes on and on of the places you can find nurses.

As a nurse, you are an integral part of your community. There are over 180,000 nurses working in Pennsylvania and there is still a shortage. Workplace injuries are commonplace but can put you out of work for long periods or even put you out of a job, which means the nursing shortage continues to grow.

Types of workplace injuries

Injuries run the gamut from slips and falls to violent patients to exposure to harmful substances. In November 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a review of the injuries nurses sustain when on the job.

  1. The most common injury occurs with overexertion and bodily reaction. This consists of the excessive use of physical movement such as bending, twisting, lifting and other repetitive motions. They account for about 45% of all work-related injuries.
  2. Slips and falls are next and account for 25%. Fluids, equipment and other items left on the floor contribute to these incidents. As the age of the nurse increases so does the possibility of slipping, falling and tripping.
  3. Patients who become violent are a common occurrence. Nurses in the emergency room encounter out-of-control people due to drugs or alcohol. Nurses in nursing home or assisted living facilities take care of patients who can become abusive or combative. Violent events account for 12.2% of all workplace injuries.

Ages at time of injury

The nurse’s age can play a factor in which injury is the most common. Nurses who are between the ages of 20 and 54 have more problems with overexertion and bodily reaction. Those over 55 start to have issues with tripping and falling.

Over 74% of all injuries occurred in a hospital setting. The second being ambulatory health care services. The review states that in 2016, an estimated 19,790 days were taken because of workplace injury or illness.