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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 544; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050544

Workplace Hazards Faced by Nursing Assistants in the United States: A Focused Literature Review

1
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, 4008 Carrington Hall, CB# 7460, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, 1700 Airport Road Rm 343, CB# 7502, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Health and the Work Environment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [336 KB, uploaded 19 May 2017]

Abstract

Nursing assistants (NAs) make up a large share of the healthcare provider workforce and their numbers are expected to grow. NAs are predominantly women who earn a low wage and report financial, work, and family demands. Working as a NA is hazardous; this manuscript specifically examines the biological/infectious, chemical, enviromechanical, physical and psychosocial hazards that appear in the literature to date. A focused search strategy was used to review literature about hazards that fell into each of the five aforementioned domains. While some hazards that were documented were clear, such as exposure to influenza because of close contact with patients (biological/infectious), or exposure to hazardous drugs (chemical), literature was limited. The majority of the literature we reviewed fell into the domain of psychosocial hazards and centered on stress from workplace organization issues (such as mandatory overtime, lack of managerial support, and feeling rushed). More research is needed to understand which hazards NAs identify as most concerning and tailored interventions are needed for risk mitigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: nursing assistants; workplace hazards; occupational health nursing assistants; workplace hazards; occupational health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Walton, A.L.; Rogers, B. Workplace Hazards Faced by Nursing Assistants in the United States: A Focused Literature Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 544.

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