Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Occupational Health Hazards in Hospitals, What Health Care Workers Should Know?

Hospitals are large, organizationally complex, system driven institutions employing large numbers of workers from different professional streams. They are also potentially hazardous workplaces and expose their workers to a wide range of physical, chemical, biological, and psychological hazards.
Biological hazards refer to organisms or organic substances derived from organisms that are harmful to human health. These include bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. In general, there are three major routes of entry for these micro-organisms into our body, i.e. through the respiratory system, transmission through contact with body fluids of the infected or contact with contaminated objects. The harmful effects posed to human health by these biological hazards are mainly of three types; infections, allergy and poisoning.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) include personnel who are in contact with patients, body fluids, specimens and having high risk of acquiring and transmitting infections. Healthcare workers include physicians, nurses, laboratory personnel, technicians, pharmacists, workers and students in educational hospitals.

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