Category: Healthcare

Suicide Prevention for Healthcare Workers

Some occupations are known to have higher rates of suicide than others (see related blogs). Job factors – such as low job security, low pay, and job stress – can contribute to risk of suicide, as can easy access to lethal means among people at risk—such as medications or firearms. Other factors that can influence the link between occupation and suicide include gender, socioeconomic status, the economy, cultural factors, and stigma. Read More >

Posted on by Hope Tiesman, PhD; David Weissman, MD; Deborah Stone, ScD, MSW, MPH; Kristen Quinlan, PhD; and L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPHLeave a comment

Home Healthcare Workers: A Growing and Diverse Workforce at High Risk for Workplace Violence

  Home healthcare workers provide healthcare services to millions of Americans who need assistance at home. Home healthcare workers work closely with patients and often are in close contact with the public while they provide healthcare services to patients. Both situations can pose increased risks for exposure to workplace violence [1],[2]. The issue of violence Read More >

Posted on by Tamara Felice Small, PhD; Susan Goodwin Gerberich, PhD, MSPH; Anthony Oliveri, PhD, MPH, CIH, CSP; Christina Socias-Morales, DrPH; Dawn Castillo; and Richard Olawoyin, PhD, CSP2 Comments

Preventing Needlestick Injuries at COVID–19 Vaccination Sites

The need to administer large numbers of COVID–19 vaccines means work conditions may be dramatically different from the traditional setting. Administering vaccines to a large number of people in a variety of settings may increase the risk for needlestick injuries among vaccinators and other vaccination site workers. Needlestick injuries have the potential to transmit bloodborne pathogens (BBP), like hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This blog recommends safety measures to reduce needlestick injuries and exposures to bloodborne pathogens. Read More >

Posted on by Ahmed Gomaa, L. Casey Chosewood, Marie Haring Sweeney, Susan Afanuh, Sarah Hughes, Adam Hornbeck, and Amy Mobley8 Comments

Advancements in Elastomeric Respirator Technology for Use as Source Control

Respirator design is constantly improving and evolving to meet new challenges. Manufacturers have recently developed innovative NIOSH-approved elastomeric half mask respirator (EHMR) designs that both protect the wearer as well as provide adequate source control – protecting others by filtering the wearer’s exhaled air that may contain harmful viruses or bacteria. EHMRs are being used more Read More >

Posted on by Rohan Fernando, M.S; Jeffrey Peterson; and Lee Portnoff, M.S9 Comments

Lighting Interventions to Reduce Circadian Disruption in Rotating Shift Workers

  Shift work has been linked to poor sleep, chronic metabolic disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity), several forms of cancer [1-3], depression, and elevated risk for the occurrence of accidents. These risks are especially acute for those who work rotating shifts that involve working through the night [4-8], as sometimes occur in hospitals. Read More >

Posted on by Mariana G. Figueiro, PhD, and David PedlerLeave a comment

Celebrating Nurses

Could there be a more fitting year to honor nurses?  As 2020 comes to a close, so does our blog series celebrating the Year of the Nurse.  The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our healthcare system and, in some cases, pushed it to the brink. Nurses and other healthcare professionals are working tirelessly and sacrificing much Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD6 Comments

Preventing Needlesticks and Sharps Injuries: Reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act

November marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (PL 106-430) into law. The act required that OSHA amend its Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to include additional protections for workers to prevent occupational exposures to blood and body fluids. This included: new requirements for the evaluation and use of engineering Read More >

Posted on by Amber Hogan Mitchell, DrPH, MPH, CPH8 Comments

Can Exoskeletons Reduce Musculoskeletal Disorders in Healthcare Workers?

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) remain a major concern for workers in the healthcare industry. Healthcare workers are at high risk of work-related MSDs mainly caused by overexertion from lifting and moving patients (i.e., patient handling). Wearable robots—exoskeletons or exosuits—may be a useful tool to help reduce risk of MSDs during patient handling. Background Based on the Read More >

Posted on by Liying Zheng, PhD3 Comments

The Unique Occupational Environment of the Home Healthcare Worker

Patient care is expanding beyond the walls of healthcare organizations. Improvements in technology, progression of disease management, and a growing number of persons seeking care within their homes are driving the growth of the home healthcare industry. Home healthcare workers (HHCWs) are a vital part of the rapidly growing industry and their work environment and Read More >

Posted on by Elizabeth Bien, PhD, MSN, RN, and Ron Smith, AIA, ACHA, ACHE, LEED AP8 Comments

Work Ability among Older Nurses

  As the U.S. workforce ages, many older nurses continue to work in direct patient care. However, by 2030, an estimated 1 million nurses will have retired from the workforce (Buerhaus, Skinner, Auerbach, & Staiger, 2017). The known safety and health hazards for nurses in direct-care positions could be even more dangerous for older workers. Read More >

Posted on by Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, PhD, RN4 Comments

Heat Stress Imposed by PPE Worn in Hot and Humid Environments

  A recent blog discussed prolonged respirator use and the potential physiological burden that could result from the buildup of CO2 within the respirator facepiece. Heat stress is another potential stress factor that healthcare workers (HCWs) who use personal protective equipment (PPE) and their employers should be aware of in order to recognize the signs Read More >

Posted on by W. Jon Williams, PhD and Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA1 Comment

Skin Irritation from Prolonged Use of Tight-Fitting Respirators

Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs) are typically used by workers, including first responders and healthcare professionals, for short, infrequent periods of time to protect against potential airborne transmissible diseases. However, during widespread respiratory infectious disease outbreaks, there may be a need to implement respirator extended use practices due to an inadequate supply of FFRs. Skin irritation Read More >

Posted on by Adam Hornbeck, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, FNP-C; Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA; Selcen Kilinc-Balci, PhD, MBA; Dana Rottach, PhD; Jonisha Pollard, MS, CPE; and Harold L. Boyles, RN, MSHCA1 Comment

Safety Culture and Health Care

Health care facilities need to foster and promote a strong culture of safety that includes a commitment to worker safety, provision of and adequate access to safety and personal protective equipment, and extensive training efforts that utilize protocols requiring specific safety actions. The American Nurses Association (2016) states that “A culture of safety describes the Read More >

Posted on by Bonnie Rogers, DrPH, COHN-S, FAAN, LNCC10 Comments

Surgical Smoke Inhalation: Dangerous Consequences for the Surgical Team

In 1996, after conducing multiple health hazard evaluations, NIOSH released a bulletin recommending the control of surgical smoke created during laser or electric surgical procedures. Since the 1990s the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) has recommended the evacuation of all surgical smoke. Yet, surgical smoke is still inhaled daily by nurses in the operating Read More >

Posted on by Mary J. Ogg, MSN, RN, CNOR8 Comments

Considerations for Covering N95s to Extend Use

Introduction During times of increased demand for N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), hospitals or other medical facilities may want to protect these devices from surface contamination in order to prolong their use. When protection against surface contamination is needed, CDC recommends wearing a cleanable face shield over an N95 FFR[1]. Wearing a surgical mask or Read More >

Posted on by Jeffrey Powell, MS; Jonisha Pollard, MS, CPE; Dana Rottach, PhD; and Edward Sinkule, PhD, MPH, FACSM

The Physiological Burden of Prolonged PPE Use on Healthcare Workers during Long Shifts

Please note that this blog is specifically about respirators used by healthcare workers during long shifts and not facemasks worn as barrier control to stop the spread of COVID.   Healthcare workers (HCW) and first responders often work long, physically and mentally exhausting shifts as they provide care for patients, especially during a public health emergency. Read More >

Posted on by Jon Williams, PhD; Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA; Adam Hornbeck, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, FNP-C; Jonisha Pollard, MS, CPE; and Jeffrey Snyder, MSN, CRNP34 Comments

Nurses’ and Other Health Professionals’ Wellness and Safety Resource Update

The World Health Organization proclaimed 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. None of us could have anticipated how prescient that would be. This year has seen nurses all over the world step up and battle coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) fearlessly, often while navigating evolving guidance and operating under difficult conditions with strained resources. Read More >

Posted on by Ruth Francis, MPH, MCHES and Holly Carpenter, BSN, RN6 Comments

Understanding the Use of Imported Non-NIOSH-Approved Respirators

When a respirator has been approved by NIOSH, the user can be confident that the device will provide the expected level of protection, as long as it fits properly and is worn correctly. But when serious outbreak conditions cause a shortage of the NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), other reliable options must be found. When Read More >

Posted on by Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD; John Powers, BS; and Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA

Uso adecuado del respirador N95 para estar preparado para la protección respiratoria

Cuando ocurren brotes de enfermedades infecciosas, dependemos de los profesionales de atención médica para que cuiden a los afectados, lo cual los pone en mayor riesgo de exposición al patógeno causante de la enfermedad. Mientras que los controles técnicos y administrativos deberían ser lo primero que se considere para proteger a estos trabajadores de la Read More >

Posted on by Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD, y Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz, MA

Controlar a fadiga em momentos de crise: Orientação para enfermeiros, gerentes e outros funcionários de serviços de saúde

Em momentos de crise, funcionários de saúde (por exemplo, enfermeiros, enfermeiros licenciados em clínica geral, médicos, assistentes de enfermagem etc.) continuam a oferecer atendimento, mesmo com demandas desafiadoras de trabalho, incluindo maior internação de pacientes gravemente doentes, aumento do estresse no trabalho e uma necessidade frequente de horas extras. Essas demandas de trabalho podem compor Read More >

Posted on by enfermeira Beverly M. Hittle, PhD; Imelda S. Wong, PhD; e enfermeira Claire C. Caruso, PhD, FAAN1 Comment