Nurses have been found to be exposed to a wide range of occupational hazards. They are particularly vulnerable to several diseases and injuries, including musculoskeletal injuries, latex allergies and needlestick injuries. Concerns have been raised in the research literature that rural and remote workplaces pose further and unique demands and risks on nurses. However, there is relatively little information regarding hazards faced by Australian nurses in rural and remote areas.
The Office of the Australian Safety and Compensation Council conducted a survey in February 2007 on occupational exposures in Australian nurses. General results arising from the study were published in 2008 (see Driscoll, 2008a). The report recommended that an in-depth comparison between rural and metropolitan participants of the survey be undertaken.
This report describes the differences in perceived occupational hazards for rural (or remote) and metropolitan nurses that were found in the 2007 survey in order to inform and facilitate effective policy formulation and OHS intervention.