Numbers at Work: Nurses Say Needlesticks Huge Concern


Nurses Say Needlesticks Huge Concern

A 2008 survey conducted by the American Nurses Association says needlesticks are a serious concern for the nursing industry. Sixty-four percent of the 700 nurses surveyed said that needlestick injuries and exposure to bloodborne agents were regularly present in their workplace. And 55% said their workplace safety climate negatively impacted their personal safety.

"An overwhelming majority of nurses say that safety concerns influence the types of nursing that they do and their continued practice in the field," says ANA President Rebecca M. Patton. The fear is that this heightened concern may worsen the national nurse shortage.

According to 89% of respondents, increasing workloads and workplace stress are the primary factors that negatively impact workplace safety. This perceived pressure may explain, in part, why 75% of those stuck were not using a safety syringe, which was mandated in 2000.

High Amount of Incidences

Sixty-four percent of nurses report being accidentally stuck by a needle while at work.  These numbers are alarming, but mainly, to me, because they did not decrease from a study done in 2006. 

The top three reasons how accidental needlesticks happened as reported by those surveyed were:

  • while giving the injection – 28%
  • involving the safety feature – 19%
  • disposing of the needles – 19%

To find out what’s being done to address the risk and more, visit