An analysis was carried out based on data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a US Department of Labour database. The health risks of various jobs are evaluated and ranked according to the O*NET measures.
Below are four categories of the unhealthiest jobs related to healthcare among the list.
1. Critical care nurses
Critical care nurses, one of the most important roles in emergency care, are often exposed to radiation, contaminants, disease and infections when they provide advanced nursing care for patients in critical or coronary care units.
2. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
Other than critical care nurses, emergency medical technicians and paramedics who examine injuries, operate emergency medical care and disentangle trapped individuals also face the same exposure with an additional risk of minor burns, cuts, bites and stings. This usually occurs during the process when they transport injured or ill people to medical facilities.
Prior to, during, or after surgery and other medical procedures usually involve the presence of anaesthesiologists. Physicians who are responsible for administering correct doses of anaesthesia to patients, their health risks include exposure to radiation, contaminants, disease and infections.
4. Nurse anaesthetists
The main responsibilities of nurse anaesthetists are to administer anaesthesia, supervise patients’ vital signs and keep an eye on patient recovery from anaesthesia. Thus, they are exposed to radiation, contaminants, disease and infections.
5. Anaesthesiologist assistants
Anaesthesiologist assistants who facilitate surgical and non-surgical procedures by monitoring patient condition and providing patient care are considered as one of the unhealthiest occupations due to the high risk of exposure to radiation, contaminants, disease and infections.
During surgeries, there are surgical assistants who help perform minor procedures such as tissue retraction, insertion of tubes and intravenous lines, or closure of surgical wounds. They are also in the list because of high exposure to contaminants, hazardous conditions as well as disease and infections.
7. Surgical assistants
Besides, surgical technologists who provide support in operations under guidance of the surgical personnel and registered nurses are also laid open to the risks of contaminants, hazardous conditions, disease and infections.
8. Dental hygienists
Dental hygienists are undeniably ranked at the top of the list. Other than cleaning teeth and diagnosing oral disease, they are also responsible for handling X-rays and applying fluoride or sealants. Their working environment thus leads them to extremely high exposure to radiation as well as disease and infections. Apart from these, the vast amount of time they spend sitting down is another health risk endured by these professionals.
9. General dentists
General dentists, in addition, examine oral areas, head and neck for signs of oral disease for diagnosis of diseases, injuries or malformations of teeth and gums on a long-term basis. They also treat diseases of nerve, pulp and other oral hygiene issues other than retaining teeth, fitting dental appliances or providing preventive care. Therefore, they face the same health risks as dental hygienists.
10. Dental laboratory technicians
The lengthy time spent sitting is one of the risks endured by dental laboratory technicians who build and repair dentures or dental appliances. They are also exposed to contaminants as well as disease and infections.
11. Dental assistants
Similarly, dental assistants who work with dentists to keep records, set up equipment and prepare patients for treatment are put in jeopardy from radiations, contaminants, disease and infections.
Prosthodontists make oral prostheses to replace missing teeth and other oral structures to improve appearance or restore and maintain oral functions. Hence, they are both exposed to contaminants as well as disease and infections. Long hours spent sitting at work is also an issue for prosthodontists.
Other fields of profession such as radiologists also hold risks of exposure to radiation, disease and infections along with long hours spent sitting while using X-rays and radioactive materials to examine and diagnose diseases.
14. Nuclear medicine technologists
On the other hand, nuclear medicine technologists who prepare radioactive isotopes for diagnosis of medical procedures are highly exposed to radiation aside from contaminants, disease and infections.
15. Medical equipment preparers
Meanwhile, medical equipment preparers, who prepare, sterilise, install and clean laboratory or healthcare equipment, are unprotected from contaminants, hazardous conditions, disease and infections when carrying out routine laboratory tasks and inspect or operate equipment.
16. Medical and clinical laboratory technologists
The same health risks apply to medical and clinical laboratory technologists as their duties are to perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of various diseases.
Podiatrists diagnose and provide medical or surgical treatment of conditions or deformities of the human foot. Their nature of work is the main cause of exposure to radiation, contaminants, disease and infections. MIMS
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