Working in a nursing home can be a rewarding experience. You can improve the quality of life for your residents and provide loving care to those who have provided care to so many others.
But that direct care also increases your risk of workplace injury or illness.
An ever-changing environment
In a nursing home, no two days are ever the same. A constantly growing and changing resident population, staffing shortages and increased regulations mean that employees must continuously adapt to continue providing quality care to their residents.
However, all those factors combine to provide hazardous working conditions, such as:
- Slips, trips and falls due to poor lighting, wet floors, or uneven surfaces can cause serious injury
- Increased chance of infections
- Risk of physical violence from residents with dementia or other behavioral issues
- Musculoskeletal injuries happen due to employees lifting or moving residents
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals such as cleaning agents or disinfectants can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, or other health issues
In addition to the physical hazards, caring for residents in nursing homes can be emotionally challenging, particularly if the resident has a serious illness or dementia. This can lead to burnout, compassion fatigue, or other mental health issues.
To reduce the risks nursing home employees face, employers must provide appropriate training, equipment, and support. This may include training on proper lifting techniques, infection control measures, and de-escalation techniques for handling difficult situations. Unfortunately, accidents will happen. If you are injured at work, you must inform your supervisor immediately. If you need medical treatment or time off from work, workers’ compensation will provide benefits while you recover.