When researchers surveyed more than 700 nurses about their views on workplace safety and needle-stick injuries, 64% named needle-stick injuries and bloodborne infections as their major concerns. Sixty-four percent of nurses reported being accidentally stuck by a needle while working, and 74% of these were injured by a contaminated needle. When nurses were asked about the circumstances surrounding their most recent injury, the top three responses were while giving an injection (28%), before activating the safety feature (19%), and during disposal of a nonsafety device (19%). In all, 35% of nurses reported two or more contaminated needle sticks at some time in their careers.
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Most nurses said that heavier workloads and a stressful environment affect workplace safety. Nearly 60% said they feel the need to work faster when they're under pressure, even if that means taking shortcuts. When asked if they put patient care ahead of personal safety, most (82%) said yes.
The survey was sponsored by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and Inviro Medical Devices. To read the full study, visit the ANA's Web site at http://www.nursingworld.org and search for the "2008 Safety and Needlestick Study."