Health Of Health Care Professionals
By Chris Evans
Healthcare is a major part of any country, as such a significant percentage of employment is within this sector. Healthcare can span from Doctors, nurses through to dentistry and care for the disabled or elderly. These jobs play an extremely vital part in the functionality of a nation and as such there are many Health & Safety provisions in place to protect staff members from injury and illness.
The type of job that you do will often dictate the type of injury/ illness that you could be susceptible to, meaning precautions should be taken to ensure your safety. Sadly employers have not always taken the appropriate steps to negate the risks of any given profession, resulting in thousands of compensation claims being pursued each year by disgruntled employers who are suffering due to the negligence of their employer.
Jobs within the health industry have scrupulous hygiene requirements, meaning staff members are required to clean their hands rigorously multiple times each day. If the hands are not dried off sufficiently it can lead to dry and cracked skin, specifically dermatitis (an eczema like illness). Dermatitis can be extremely painful and has the ability to affect your ability to undertake everyday tasks if not treated. When trying to prevent dermatitis appropriate care should be taken upon washing and drying your hands.
Many health related establishments provide powdered latex gloves which are supposed to draw out any remaining moisture whilst remaining hygienic however in some cases these gloves can further aggravate the condition making the sufferer even more sensitive. If you believe that you are suffering with a condition similar to this it may be worth visiting your local G.P who may prescribe a topical steroid cream which should alleviate the issue. You should also speak to the appropriate member of staff in your workplace to discuss if any changes can be made to reduce the chance of the condition returning.
Another condition that many health workers are at risk of is CBS or Cumulative back strain. A large percentage of the worlds population will experience back issues during the course of their lifetime and the last thing we ought to be doing is putting extra unnecessary strain on a body part that is already under gratuitous amounts of pressure. Those who work in an area that involves moving patients around may be at an increased risk if the correct assessments have not been conducted. Most care homes and health establishments have lifting harnesses present which aid in the moving of patients.
Sadly those who injure their back or develop CBS due to their work environment may face a lifetime of chronic back pain however treatments such as physiotherapy, medication and in serious cases surgery can improve the ailment. Although many of these types of injuries occur through wear and tear there are steps that can be taken by an employer which reduce the probability of injury. There should be harnesses readily available whenever a patient needs to be moved. Likewise if heavy objects need to be transported elsewhere there should be adequate people available to perform this task.
Although these conditions may develop over time and at first may not seem to be that severe they can quickly develop into conditions that will require time away from work and even surgery/ invasive medical practices to improve the illness. You should report any issues that you are having to a suitable member of staff/ management to which they should facilitate the issue to the best of their ability, failure to do so may result in the business being deemed negligent to which they may be held liable in the form of compensation claims.
Wrote by Adam Howard of Atrium Legal. Adam’s aim is to help preserve workers health through his writing. Atrium Legal are experts in Industrial Diseases giving advice and assistance to people injured or made ill at work.