When people get asked what they think is the most dangerous career, they often think of police officers, firefighters, and construction workers. However, the types of workers that can also fall into that category are medical professionals. You might not know this, but more than 2 million incidents occur on annual bases that endanger the lives of medical professionals. These risks can range from physical and biological hazards to various chemical risks.
In this article, we are going to discuss what the dangers of working in the health sector are.
Smoke Plume Inhalation
Smoke plum is the byproduct of various equipment and devices during a surgical procedure. It is one of the reasons why doctors and medical staff wear protective masks when operating on patients. Smoke plum is very harmful and can cause allergic and inflammatory reactions to the person inhaling it. It results in nausea and headaches and it can be compared like putting a person in a small room with 30 cigarettes. Smoke plum has also been found to carry different types of bacteria that are harmful to humans.
Various Infections from Highly Ill patients
Probably the biggest danger of working in the health sector is the fact that you are exposed to various infections when attending sick patients. This is especially the case when treating patients who are HIV positive. There are many ways how a nurse or a doctor can get infected with HIV when attending a sick patient. It could be done through accidental needle injection (the same one that has been used to extract samples from the patient), and through accidental inflection from bodily fluids. As statistics from the OHSA show, more than 500.000 accidents that involve needles or bodily fluids happen on annual bases in the medical sector. This can be extremely dangerous and the best thing to do when this happens to you is to immediately do a rapid HIV test.
Medical professionals are becoming more and more susceptible to violence and aggression while in the workplace. This can come from patients, who are mentally ill, are under severe substance abuse, caretakers of elderly people, the list goes on and on. A study conducted in 2013 came up with shocking numbers that stated that 3 out of 4 nurses will experience physical violence throughout a calendar year while attending the needs of their patients. Most susceptible are professionals who work in the mental health sector such as psychiatrists, as well as nurses.
Another study has found that medical personnel has a 40% chance of experiencing physical abuse while attending the needs of the sick, eighter though the patients themselves, or through their family members.
Burnout and Long Hours
It’s very common for nurses and doctors to work 12 hours a shift, 7 times a week. Severe cases of burnout are being reported by medical professionals every single day. The biggest and most familiar case of burnout appears with surgeons. It is widely known that surgeons spent many hours operating patients, sometimes even up to 48 hours! What’s more damning is the fact that emergency surgeries happen all the time and surgeons have to be put aside the fact that they are exhausted in order to save a person’s life.