Registered nurses (RNs) are critical to the health care system in the United States. These medical professionals bridge the gap between patients and doctors. They're the individuals who provide dedicated care to sick individuals when they most need help. This is why it's no wonder that these workers have some of the highest rates of illness and injury among all medical professionals.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) data shows that at least 18 million Americans are employed in the health care sector in the United States. At least 80% of the individuals who work in this ever-growing industry are women. NIOSH data shows that workers in the health care field face one of the highest nonfatal occupational illness and injury rates of all industries.
As a health care worker, you may be at increased risk for a sharps injury. Such an injury occurs when you come in contact with an improperly disposed-of needle that penetrates the skin. Sharps injuries are dangerous because they can expose you to bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B or C, as well as human immunodeficiency virus.
Most Americans are very lucky to have access to healthcare when we need it. Whether we are sick or injured, it is a great comfort to know that hospitals and medical professionals are never far away.