Healthcare Workers

Healthcare is the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. financial system. It employs over 18 million workers. Women represent nearly 80% of the healthcare work force. Healthcare workers face a wide range of hazards on the job including:

  • Sharps injuries
  • Chemical and drug exposure
  • Back injuries
  • Latex allergies
  • Violence
  • Stress

Although it’s possible to prevent or reduce these hazards, healthcare workers continue to experience injuries and illnesses at work. Cases of nonfatal work injury and illness with healthcare workers are among the highest of any industry sector.

  • Safety Culture in Healthcare Settings is a healthcare worker training course that provides scientific and evidence-based information. It focuses on six core competencies designed to increase knowledge about work-related hazards and address organizational and personal strategies to promote a safe and healthful work environment. 
  • Interim NIOSH Training for Emergency Responders: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours is a training developed for emergency workers who deploy to disaster sites caused by weather, earthquakes, epidemics, and other catastrophic events.
  • CDC provides an assortment of COVID-19 guidance for healthcare workers on the Healthcare Workers: Information on COVID-19 page. Link to clinical guidance, home and hospital care, care for special populations, and other healthcare topics.
  • The NIOSH Health Worker Mental Health Initiative seeks to raise awareness of mental health issues, including the risk of suicide and substance use disorders, eliminate stigma and barriers to accessing care, and identify and improve data, screening tools, trainings, resources, and policies to address health worker mental health.
  • Personal Protective Technology (PPT) plays an important role in protecting healthcare personnel. Reflecting on the nation’s past decade of experiences with infectious and non-infectious hazards, the NIOSH PPT Program has developed a strategic approach to PPT research, development, performance standards and test methods, and conformity assessment. Click on Draft NIOSH Healthcare Personal Protective Technology (PPT) Targets for 2020 to 2030  to learn more.

Safety and Health Information for Healthcare Workers

Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others

Thumnail of NIOSH Caring for Yourself while Caring for Others training video

Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others is a NIOSH video for home health workers. It provides a brief overview of the Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others course.

Shift Work and Long Work Hours

Nurses tending to patient

NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours

This training is an online, continuing education course for registered nurses and other healthcare professionals. The training is evidence-based and can help healthcare professionals and their managers with the demands of working:

  • In the evening
  • At night
  • Early in the morning
  • Long work hours

It provides workplace and personal strategies to improve sleep, alertness, energy, and overall health when on these work schedules.

To develop this training, NIOSH worked together with:

  • The American Nurses Association
  • Nursing faculty
  • Focus groups, staff nurses, and nurse managers

Continuing education certificates are available through the CDC Training and Continuing Education online system. Take this 3.5 hour course at any time that is convenient. You can also complete the training over a series of 15 or 20 minute time periods, if desired.