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Ways Nurses Can Protect Themselves At Work

The woman known as the Ebola Nurse recently settled a lawsuit with her employer after claiming that they were at fault for her contraction of the disease. Though the case died down, the settlement has brought it back into light, at least until the next big new story comes along. While the news has brought the topic to the front of our minds once again, it’s a great opportunity to talk about how nurses can protect themselves at work.If you are a nurse, you already know that you are in danger of contracting illnesses. You also know that there are ways you can protect yourself. It’s not unusual to become complacent, so reminding yourself of those basics is never a bad idea. Read on to learn or remind yourself about how you can protect yourself at work.

1. The Gear

The most important thing you can do is to wear the right protective gear. At a minimum, you should be wearing gloves and a mask. Depending on what you are doing, you may need to wear a gown and a respirator. It can also be a good idea to cover your eyes and other mucous membranes.

2. Clean, Clean, Clean

Take off your gear as directed by your employer. As soon as you do exit the patient’s room, wash your hands and any exposed skin immediately. Hospital staff will clean and sanitize the room, but you should make sure to do the same for yourself. If you are exposed to anything directly, follow protocol when cleaning yourself.

3. Vaccinations

Nurses tell patients that vaccinations are beneficial, but how many times do we talk to fellow nurses and find out they don’t follow the same suggestions? If your hospital doesn’t make it a requirement for employees to be vaccinated, make it a requirement of your own. Get vaccinated for anything that you are regularly exposed to — and even the things you aren’t.

4. Quarantine

If you are exposed to a serious disease or infection, follow employer protocol as it pertains to quarantine. You will need to speak with your supervisors immediately and follow instructions. If you neglect to tell your employer because you are fearful of being placed in quarantine, you could be harming more than just yourself.

5. Knowledge

Never walk into a patient’s room without first knowing what you may be walking into. Knowledge is the first step in protecting yourself. You can’t follow proper protocol if you don’t know what you are going to be dealing with. Don’t become so complacent that you open the door to a mystery. Treat every patient as though they are carrying a potentially life-altering disease.

Though there are very different requirements for medical professionals to receive workers’ compensation, it is still an option. If you have been injured on the job in Charleston, reach out to our team today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and let us advise you of your options. Call today for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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