Nurses who work in hospitals and other care facilities in Massachusetts face multiple risks while on the job. However, it may be possible to avoid these risks or mitigate the negative impacts that they can have to a person’s mental and physical health.

Take steps to protect yourself

Washing your hands and getting a flu shot are simple strategies that you can use to protect yourself against germs or other pathogens. You should also make sure to wear personal protective equipment whenever you’re in close proximity to someone who may have a communicable disease. Gloves and gowns are ideal for protecting your body from pathogens while goggles and masks can protect your eyes, nose and mouth from coming into contact with airborne germs.

Eliminate hazards whenever you can

If you see something on the floor, try to pick it up before anyone else has a chance to slip on it or trip over it. If you are dealing with a patient who is difficult to lift, don’t try to carry that person on your own. Instead, ask for help or use a mechanical lift to transport that individual. You should also ask for help immediately if you are confronted by a patient or anyone else who is displaying violent tendencies.

Be sure to sleep regularly

Sleeping at least seven hours of sleep each day can minimize your chances of making a mistake at work. It can also minimize the chances that you will drive to or from work while drowsy or fatigued. It is important to note that a lack of sleep may increase your stress level and weaken your immune system.

If you get hurt or sick at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits could help you obtain a portion of any wages lost while recovering from a workplace injury or illness. An attorney may be able to help you submit a claim or help you through the appeal process if it is denied.