Healthcare Workers Are Sanitation Workers Too

Nurses practice in a multitude of healthcare settings, from hospitals to hospice centers their jobs range from physical exams to preparing to be garbage man…Yes, that’s correct. Nurses are garbage men too. If you think about what the nurse does when you go to the doctor’s office normally you would just think that they take your blood pressure, your body temperature, and ask you a few questions about how you are feeling. Behind the scenes nurses do far more than assessing that annoying cough you have or that pain in your side. They handle everything that comes in as well as leaves the facilities, especially the trash.

The typical amount of waste generated by health-care activities consists of 85% general, non-hazardous waste while the remaining 15% is considered hazardous materials that may be infectious, toxic or radioactive. Billions of injections by are administered worldwide and if the nurses do not dispose of those needles and syringes properly it could contaminate everything from the water we drink to the air we breathe. You would not think of a nurse as a garbage man, but part of their job means knowing how to properly dispose of all materials in their facilities. Next time you go in for your flu shot stop and look at the nurse and appreciate them as a garbage man.  Knowing what needs to go to landfills or should be incinerated is not just how nurses continue to save lives, it’s also what makes them garbage men superstars.