Prevention and Control of Occupational Hazards in the Health Care Sector: 2nd Edition

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Medics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 1818

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Guest Editor
Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Μedical Faculty, University of Thessaly, 41222 Larissa, Greece
Interests: epidemiology; occupational health; social determinants of health; medicine
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Health care workers (HCWs) are vital resources for every country and are exposed to a plethora of occupational hazards. Biological hazards are of central importance for HCWs, and the current COVID-19 pandemic underlines the vulnerability of health care workers and demonstrates the importance of ensuring their health and safety at work. In addition to exposures to biological hazards, HCWs are also exposed to physical (e.g., radiation and vibrations) and chemical hazards (e.g., antineoplastic drugs, formaldehyde, and latex). In addition, occupational exposures to psychosocial hazards (e.g., burnout syndrome and violence) and ergonomic hazards are of importance for health care workers.

Furthermore, the current unfolding COVID-19 pandemic is characterized by the combined exposure of HCWs to biological and psychosocial hazards.

Given this context, a Special Issue of Healthcare entitled “Prevention and Control of Occupational Hazards in the Health Care Sector” is being launched, and we are looking forward to receiving your submissions. You are welcome to send proposals for the submission of feature papers to our Editorial Office for evaluation.

Dr. George Rachiotis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • health care workers
  • healthcare
  • occupational hazards
  • physical hazards
  • chemical hazards
  • biological hazards
  • COVID-19
  • psychosocial hazards
  • burnout syndrome
  • violence
  • occupational stress
  • ergonomic hazards
  • vaccine coverage
  • vaccine hesitancy

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 4230 KiB  
Article
Prospective Study on the Influence of Occupational Hand Protection Products on the Efficacy of Hand Disinfection
by Magdalena Metzger, Stefan Manhartseder, Leonie Krausgruber, Carina Wagner, Sara Frank, Rosmarie Reisner, Monika Ehling-Schulz, Johannes Grillari, Roswitha Hosemann and Peter Dungel
Healthcare 2024, 12(6), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12060646 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 732
Abstract
Background: To prevent occupational skin diseases, employees are instructed to periodically apply hand protection products as a barrier to protect their hands from water, cleaning agents or other irritants. The aim of this work was to investigate whether bacteria present on the skin [...] Read more.
Background: To prevent occupational skin diseases, employees are instructed to periodically apply hand protection products as a barrier to protect their hands from water, cleaning agents or other irritants. The aim of this work was to investigate whether bacteria present on the skin at the time of protection product application are enclosed underneath this protective layer, if they can be transferred to other surfaces and if a standard isopropanol-based skin disinfectant can nonetheless reduce the bacterial burden. Methods: This prospective study was conducted in human volunteers based on the European Standard (EN 1500) to assess the burden of microorganisms before and after the application of various protection product formulations and subsequent hand disinfection. Results: All protection products, with the exception of alcohol-based gels, enclosed bacteria underneath a lipid layer which could be transferred onto other surfaces. Still, the hand disinfectant efficiently reduced the bacteria burden. Discussion: In occupations where proper hand hygiene is vital, alcohol-based gels might be the best option for the protection of the skin barrier as well as for reducing the contamination risk. Conclusion: An alcohol-based disinfection agent can dissolve the lipid film of protection products following the standard protocol for hygienic hand disinfection. Full article
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12 pages, 248 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Frequency, Causes, Degree and Consequences of Violence against Health Workers in Psychiatric Institutions
by Zoran Jovanovic, Ana Opankovic, Srdjan Milovanovic, Jasmina Barisic, Tamara Nikolic Turnic and Dusan Djuric
Healthcare 2024, 12(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12010084 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 813
Abstract
(1) Background: The prevalence of workplace violence within the health sector varies between 50 and 88%. Depending on the health care environment, the percentages mentioned can be much higher. (2) The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, characteristics, factors, and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The prevalence of workplace violence within the health sector varies between 50 and 88%. Depending on the health care environment, the percentages mentioned can be much higher. (2) The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, characteristics, factors, and consequences of violence against healthcare workers (physicians, nurses, and technicians) in psychiatric institutions in the Republic of Serbia. Additionally, this study should validate the Serbian version of the aggression questionnaire, which could be a significant tool in recognizing and assessing any type of violence against health care workers in psychiatric institutions. (3) Methods: This study was designed as an observational questionnaire study that included 191 health workers (physicians, medical technicians, workers in kitchens or maintenance, and others) from three psychiatric institutions. As an instrument, this study validated and used the Serbian version of the aggression standardized questionnaire. We observed the primary and secondary outcomes of potential violence in psychiatric institutions against healthcare workers using different parameters. (4) Results: The internal consistency of each item as well as the instrument was very good (the mean Cronbach alfa = 0.91). A total of 104 of the participants never experienced physical violence, while more than five times that had 20 health workers (10.5%). We observed the statistical significance of gender, age, working status (permanent/limited) and professional status (physician/medical technician/worker etc.) on physical attack incidence. (5) Conclusions: The incidence of violence against healthcare workers is very high, especially in terms of physical assault and threats in the workplace. The majority of the victims were women who work as medical technicians, attacked by male patients with unknown motivation. A number of changes in the structure and organizational culture of the hospital are required. All hospital employees, employers, patients, and their families share responsibility for the creation of a safe workplace. Full article

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Vaccinating Healthcare Workers against Varicella Zoster Virus: evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis
Authors: 1. Matteo Riccò 2. Marco Bottazzoli 3. Federico Marchesi 4. Silvia Corrado 5. Pietro Ferraro* 6. Salvatore Zaffina* 7. Davide Gori*
Affiliation: 1. AUSL IRCCS di Reggio Emilia 2. APSS di Trento 3. University of Parma 4. ASST of Rho, Milan 5. Italian Railways’ Infrastructure Division, RFI SpA 6. Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital IRCCS 7. University of Bologna
Abstract: Chickenpox (varicella) is usually acknowledged as a rare occurrence in healthcare settings. However, the high risk for its trasmission to healthcare workers (HCWs) from patients with herpes zoster and the potential spreading from HCWs to unimmunized, or immunosuppressed, vulnerable patients has raised the attention of healthcare authorities regarding varicella and varicella zoster vaccination. Through the methodological approach recommended by PRISMA statement, through the analysis of 3 databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus), the present systematic review with meta-analysis will gather available evidence on the seroprevalence of varicella zoster virus in HCWs, guaranteeing a critical appraisal of current data in order to provide appropriate recommendation for future interventions. Keywords: Varicella Zoster Virus, Healthcare settings, occupational medicine, preventive medicine, vaccination

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