For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer workplace injuries. The types of support measured by the study varied greatly and included access to guidance and advice, help with their workload or simple expressions of care or empathy.
The physical demands of nursing already put many nurses at risk for physical injuries or accidents on the job. Nurses may have to move heavy patients or equipment from beds to wheelchairs or from one place to another. In addition, they often work long, 12-hour shifts that are particularly demanding. Therefore, they are already in danger of workplace injuries related to muscle or joint pains and strains in the shoulders, arms, hands and lower back. According to researchers, muscular and skeletal injuries can be exacerbated by angry feelings, such as those people experience when they perceive that they are being treated unfairly at work.