Wash your hands
The bottom line is that washing your hands thoroughly is the best defense against the spread of infection. Wash your hands after every patient contact.
Develop a good self care routine
Eat healthily and exercise. Not only are you setting a good example for your patients, but you’re also protecting yourself from illness and injury.
Always use provided transfer and lift equipment
Never try to lift a patient manually. Learn to use the equipment. Many nursing injuries arise due to ignoring the equipment or using it improperly.
Get lots of sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep is a critical factor in optimum health. It can be difficult to schedule sleep if you’re doing shift work and are called upon to work doubles consistently.
Practice good body mechanics
Wear support shoes and always bend at the knees when picking something up. Watch videos on good body mechanics if you’re not familiar with the phrase.
Engage in safe needle handling
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), hospital personnel experience 385,000 sharps-related and needle-stick injuries annually. Slow down and be careful.
Wear protective equipment (PE) when necessary
Don’t take shortcuts with protective gear. This is your best line of defense against bloodborne viruses.
Get a flu shot
Many hospitals actually require this as part of hospital policy. If yours does not, or you work in home health care, getting a flu shot isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.
Step up and speak up
Ask for help when dealing with a violent patient or doing a transfer/lift that requires two people. Be willing to assist your co-workers with these types of requests as well.
Immunize yourself against other viruses
Like flu shots, immunizing yourself against other diseases is crucial. If there is a vaccine for it, get it. Pneumonia, hepatitis, tetanus, diphtheria, mumps, and measles vaccinations should be kept up to date.
If you do become ill or are injured at work, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist you.