As a healthcare worker, you play a vital role in the health and well-being of your South Carolina community. While this can be an incredibly rewarding career path, it can also be dangerous. You face serious on-the-job dangers every time that you clock in at work, including lifting injuries and accidental needlesticks.
You already know that your workplace conditions are different from the average person's. From nurses to doctors, everyone in the healthcare industry works long hours under already stressful conditions. You deal with patients who are sick, injured, agitated and even in desperate need of life-saving medical care. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that hospitals let worker safety fall to the side.
Are you worried about needlesticks?
Blood draws are a routine procedure in the world of healthcare. There are 400 million blood draws in the United States alone every year. Since blood draws occur across all different healthcare settings, from routine physician visits to emergency situations, you probably see your fair share of this procedure. Even if you do not directly witness blood draws on a regular basis, the nature of your job means you are frequently around biohazard containers.
Biohazard containers are supposed to be a safe place to store used needles. Carefully disposing of needles in a safe manner is important for preventing the spread of diseases among healthcare workers. Hospitals that ignore safety standards and allow biohazard containers to overfill put you and everyone else at risk for an accidental needlestick.
The risks are serious
Safe injection practices are essential for the safety of both healthcare workers and patients. According to current statistics, more than 2 million healthcare workers across the globe sustain infectious needlesticks annually. The World Health Organization also reports that unsafe injection practices directly contribute to 1.3 million deaths per year.
Perhaps even more upsetting is that these numbers might not paint a full picture. Surveys show that healthcare workers do not report up to half of all accidental needlesticks. This is perhaps in part because nurses, doctors, paramedics and more are generally accustomed to working in less than ideal situations, particularly in which they face exposure to potentially serious diseases.
You deserve help
Suffering an accidental needlestick is an extremely distressing experience. You may spend months worrying over possible outcomes only for everything to turn out okay. On the other hand, you could also end up developing a lifelong illness, such as HIV or hepatitis C.
Healthcare workers take on an enormous burden in order to provide compassionate care to the sick and injured. They should not bear this burden in silence, though. Workers' compensation can be a financial and medical lifeline for healthcare workers who suffered serious work-related injuries, including accidental needlesticks.