Introduction

Nurses work to support doctors and care for patients in a variety of medical establishments such as hospitals, GP surgeries, residential care homes and visiting people in their own residences. There are approximately 400,000 nurses in Australia, of which about 300,000 are Registered Nurses, the remainder being comprised of Enrolled Nurses and Midwives. According to Worksafe Australia, the healthcare sector has the highest number of work-related injuries reported each year, accounting for about 16% of all serious workers compensation claims.

There are a number of risks nurses face in the workplace:

  • Back strains from physically handling patients.
  • Mental health problems arising from continual extended or double shifts, night-shifts and disruptive rotating shifts. Studies reveal how night-shift workers are more likely to become obese or contract cancer.
  • Physical violence from mentally ill or aggressive drug-addicted patients or those suffering from dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment.
  • Stress from verbal abuse from colleagues, superiors, patients and their relatives (i.e. workplace bullying).
  • Exposure to illness e.g. colds, flu, diseases, infections – transmitted through the air or by splashes (or needle stick injuries) of infected bodily fluids such as hepatitis or HIV.
  • Psychological problems and stress related to continually witnessing traumatic events such as the death of children, extreme pain and suffering, grieving family members and the outcome of traffic accidents.
  • Mental health issues arising from chronic understaffing and under-resourcing leading to nurses being overworked, stressed and burnt out.
  • Repeated exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental hazards e.g. x-rays, nuclear medicine radiation, diagnostic lasers, chemotherapy drugs, cleaning fluids, latex allergies (e.g. some nurses develop skin problems due to constant hand washing and/or latex gloves).
  • Exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria that is prevalent throughout hospitals.

At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget.

Expertise in Action

Experts in nursing are essential to obtain opinion on the many work health and safety claims prevalent in the healthcare industry. They may be required to:

  • Investigate a hospital or residential care facility for potential WHS risks.
  • Assess a hospital’s nursing roster and procedures, and compare them with established industry standards and guidelines.
  • Investigate and audit healthcare systems and standards.

Experts in this field have extensive experience in the identification and assessment of nursing WHS issues, risks and injuries.

Sample Reports

For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.

Cost

The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:

  • The need for a view or inspection of a location
  • The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
  • Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
  • Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Relevant Articles Safe patient handling

A safe patient handling policy provides for a safer approach to patient/client handling whereby the manual lifting of patients/clients is eliminated or minimised wherever possible.

Health care and social assistance

The healthcare and social assistance industry is the largest employing industry in Australia. It is rapidly expanding and is projected to continue to do so as the population both grows and ages, amplifying any current work health and safety issues and trends. It has a large number of work-related injuries and illness reported each year.

Relevant Cases QNU v Sundale Garden Village Nambour [2006] QIRComm 84; 182 QGIG 638

This matter investigated whether workloads imposed upon nurses are excessive and/or unreasonable.

Related Blog Articles

Profiles of Experts in Work health safety - Nursing

Below are short profiles of a few experts with expertise in this field. Please contact our office to discuss your specific requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget. Expert Experts are experts in finding the right expert for your needs and you pay no more to use Expert Experts than if you searched and found the expert yourself.

Contact us at answers@expertexperts.com.au or give us a call 1300 72 66 55

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