Whether you work in the healthcare industry or you just happen to have a lot of interactions with professionals in this field, you likely already know that healthcare is a complicated field, with big rewards and big risks. If you’re looking to get into this field, then you should definitely educate  yourself on the risks it entails, especially in regard to your personal safety. It’s hard to sum up all the risks succinctly, because they are extremely varied, but there will always be recurring dangers and hang ups. What are some of the biggest problems healthcare professionals experience? Read on to find out!

Malpractice Issues
Here we have a huge, double-faceted problem. While we wouldn’t say that it riddles the healthcare industry, you can certainly find plenty of cases of it. It poses a major risk for the patients, as they could be injured, or even killed, on the operating table or as a result of a treatment. That said, working in the industry also means that you may be subject to malpractice, regardless of your role in a procedure or treatment. Doctors are most at risk obviously, and they must protect themselves with comprehensive malpractice insurance.

Other Types of Lawsuits
As you probably know, malpractice is one type of lawsuit. The healthcare field can be held accountable for so many different problems though. Consider the sheer amount of people who walk into and out of doctors’ offices on a daily basis. Between private practices, hospitals and other such entities, hundreds, or even thousands, of people in your own town are going through those doors each day. Healthcare professionals must be extremely careful when it comes to handling confidential information, interacting with distraught or confused patients and giving anyone advice – every word you say and action you take can and will have consequences. One mistake on a prescription could potentially cost your office millions if it’s exploited or misinterpreted.

Bodily Hazards
This is something many worry about on a daily basis. Coming into contact with sick patients can potentially lead to physical harm or negative health consequences. Being stuck with a needle from a patient who is HIV, HCV or even HSV positive could potentially lead to health problems, as could being accosted by an angry or distraught psychiatric patient. Coming into contact with someone who has SARS or Bird Flu could also be hazardous. Most health professionals understand that this is an inherent risk to the profession and are willing to take that risk,  but you must understand that it comes with the territory if you plan to make a career out of it. All health care facilities will emphasize gloves, washing hands and other best practices to minimize the chances of any of these incidents from happening. 

Your Conscience
Most people enter the healthcare industry to make a difference – they care about their fellow man (or woman). However, there will always be those looking to game the system, and it’s up to you as a healthcare professional to prevent their success. It may be hard to imagine that someone would make up a story about pain in order to attain free medication, but it can and will happen. It may also be hard to accept that people just die in hospitals everyday – but they do, and you may need to adjust your worldview or attitude about why you have the job you do.
As you can see, all different types of safety risks exist in the healthcare industry. Some of them relate to the safety of money, and others relate to physical safety. Knowing about the field as a whole is quite important for anyone looking to enter it. More information can be found about healthcare professions at websites like
Joseph Rodriguez writes about the his experiences in the healthcare industry as an administrator at a health center on the west coast.