Are we putting ourselves in danger? Occupational hazards and job safety for orthopaedic surgeons
Ryu RC, Behrens PH, Malik AT, Lester JD, Ahmad CS. Are we putting ourselves in danger? Occupational hazards and job safety for orthopaedic surgeons. J Orthop. 2021;24:96-101. doi: 10.1016/j.jor.2021.02.023
As physicians, we strive to meet the needs of our patients. In doing so, we are often exposed to hazards that have the potential to not only compromise our health, but also our ability to deliver the best possible healthcare. Occupational hazards specific to the field of orthopaedics include infectious organisms, radiation, surgical smoke, chemicals, hazardous noise, musculoskeletal injury, and psychosocial stressors. Even though orthopaedic surgeons acknowledge the risk, most lack in-depth knowledge of the associated long-term harm associated with these hazards and ways of reducing risk of exposure. Orthopaedic surgeons should increase awareness, follow established guidelines, and integrate preventative measures to create the safest possible work environment. It is our hope that by improving our own health, we will be better equipped to address the health concerns of those we serve-our patients.