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REPORT: Nurse Assistants among Most-Injured Health Care Workers

May 13, 2015

The health care and social assistance industry is the most dangerous in the country, and nurse assistants are among the most injury-prone occupations within that field, a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows.

Compared to nurses, nurse assistants were more than twice as likely to suffer a severe injury related to patient handling or workplace violence, the April 24 CDC report shows.

Nationally, the health care and social assistance industry accounted for nearly one-fifth (20.7 percent) of all the nonfatal occupational injuries reported across all private industries in the U.S.

Between 2012 and 2014, injury rates increased for all health care and social assistance professions, including jobs such as physicians, dentists, and interns. Injury rates for nurses and nurse assistants increased the most, doubling over that time period.

In order to prevent injuries related to patient handling, health care institutions “might establish a safety culture emphasizing continuous improvement and also provide resources such as training in safe patient handling and access to lifting teams and lifting equipment,” the report’s authors wrote.

The report’s data came from 112 health care facilities across 19 states.

— by Matthew Ozga

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