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