Health care worker incidents reported in a rural health care facility: A descriptive study

Mary Linnea Nelson, Debra Kay Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


About eight million workers, or 6.4% of the total United States work force, are employed by the health care industry. Frequency of injury has continued to rise from 6 per 100 full time workers in 1980 to over 10 in 1992 (US Department of Labor, 1994). This descriptive, retrospective study characterizes host, agent, and environmental variables for 120 incidents reported in 1990 at a rural nursing home and acute care hospital with 290 employees. Incident is defined as an event that results in injury or has the potential to result in an injury. Based on an estimate of full time equivalents (190.4 FTE) calculated at 9 months, the incident rate per 100 FTEs was 63 for this facility. Injury was reported in 114 incidents, resulting in an overall injury rate per 100 FTEs of 59.9. Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury followed by cuts, lacerations, and punctures. Female and male workers reported similar proportions of incidents. At midyear, 85% of the employee population was female, 15% male. Females represented 83.3% of the subjects reporting incidents; males represented 16.7%. These data from a small rural facility differ from many of the findings on the injury experience of health care workers reported in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalAAOHN Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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