We often hear about on the job dangers that can threaten the health and wellness of certain workers. While many may consider law enforcement and fire fighting to be dangerous jobs, the top ten list of dangerous jobs is actually more mundane. A Forbes Magazine article says those at highest risk are taxi and truck drivers, farmers and ranchers, iron and steel workers, roofers, refuse collectors, pilots, logging workers, and fishing-related workers.
Now, a recent study conducted by Ball State University suggests another segment of the work force is facing increasing job-related dangers: nurses. Nursing is one of the largest sectors in the healthcare industry. What makes the Ball State study particularly troubling is that when nurses are placed in situations where their job is either dangerous or their employment contributes to a negative mental or physical state, it could be placing the patients they care for in danger as well.
Some Alarming Statistics on the Nursing Profession
The study, published by the National Institute of Health, is entitled “The Impact of Perceived Stress and Coping Adequacy on the Health of Nurses: A Pilot Investigation.” It involved 120 completed surveys from nurses in a hospital in the midwestern United States. These are a few of the more concerning statistics revealed by the study:
- 92% had moderate to very high stress levels, with 25% stating stress levels were high to very high.
- 78% got less than 8 hours of sleep per day.
- 69% did not get regular exercise.
- 22% of nurses who responded were classified as “binge drinkers.”
The study further determined that worksite health promotion programs where nurses are employed “should focus equally on stress reduction, stress management, and the development of healthy coping skills.”
Nurses responding to the survey were 86% female and were an average age of 41.
The Responsibility for a Safe and Healthy Work Environment
Nurses already work in dangerous environments. They often work with potentially dangerous medical tools and equipment and handle powerful medicines. They are exposed to a wide-range of diseases, viruses, and body fluids. The Ball State study demonstrates that their work environment may also be placing a significant amount of stress on these workers, causing coping and health issues. Adding to the stress is the long and unusual work schedule that nurses are often subject to.
The paper also detailed other causes of workplace stress for nurses, including:
- Constant high noise levels
- Conflicts with other healthcare professionals
- Conflicts with patients and their families
- Workload demands
- Dealing with death and dying
- Lack of support from supervisors.
When nurses voice their concerns about their health and safety, their hospitals and employers have a responsibility to respond; if they fail to address the problems, consequences could be significant for both the workers and patients. Nurses deserve and are entitled to a safe workplace and medical facilities that are responsive to their concerns.
Contact the Mann Law Firm
If you or your family member is involved in nursing and has expressed concerns about their health, stress levels, or workplace safety where they are employed, contact the Mann Law Firm. We’ve been serving Macon and Middle Georgia for over 50 years. At Mann Law Firm, we put you first.
We encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation with a Mann Law Firm attorney. We’ll discuss your job in nursing and the situation that may exist at your workplace.
You deserve a safe work environment and may even be entitled to financial compensation if you’ve suffered a workplace injury. It starts with a phone call to the Mann Law Firm at (478) 742-3381. The Mann Law Firm is an Accredited Member of the Better Business Bureau, The American Association for Justice, The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, with an AV Preeminent rating.