Monday, November 30, 2015

Anesthesiology Is Bad For Your Health

Business Insider recently ranked the least healthy jobs in the country. They determined this list based on data from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The factors they used included the risks of job exposure to radiation, disease and infection, hazardous conditions, risks of burns, cuts, bites, and stings, and prolonged sitting (!). Without further ado, here are some of the surprising occupations that made the Top 25 list of the most unhealthy jobs in America.

Coming in, tied for 24th place, is Radiology. Radiologists may be surprised to learn that their job is as bad for their body as their 24th place brethren Metal Furnace Operators. I couldn't think of any jobs that could be more disparate. Radiologists work in air conditioned, quiet darkened rooms while furnace operators work near giant vats of molten metal. How could they possibly have the same level of health risks? Well according to the data, radiologists have increased exposure to radiation (unlikely since most of them aren't actually anywhere near machines that emit the radiation unless they are doing an interventional procedure), disease and infections (again not the radiologists I've seen who wouldn't go anywhere within ten feet of an actual patient), and sitting (duh). The risks for a metal furnace operator goes without saying. Between the two, I'd choose radiology any day.

ICU nurses come in 21st place, below Service Unit Operators (oil, gas, mining). These are the guys who make sure oil fields and mining operations are working smoothly. Again there is probably an overemphasis on exposure to disease and contaminants because I'd take an ICU nursing job in a minute compared to working in the oil fields. I'm pretty sure many oil workers would feel the same.

Further down the list we get more incongruous job comparisons like EMT's, which is tied at 17th with Mining Machine Operators and both are considered more unhealthy than garbage collectors, I mean Refuse Material Collectors. 

Finally four of the top five least healthy jobs in America are medically related. Anesthesiology is ranked as the third most dangerous job for your well being. This is mainly due to high exposure to disease and infections, contaminants, and radiation. What, no mention of sitting on the job? At lease we're not the absolute most unhealthy job in the country, which belongs to your dentist. Their daily risks of being subjected to infections and contaminations is without a doubt. However I'm not so sure about the sitting category. Most dentists I know don't sit very much. They are running from room to room checking on their dental hygienists rather than sitting down with one patient for a prolonged period of time.

So take this list for what it's worth. If any medical student is thinking about going into anesthesiology, just realize that you are heading into a field which will damage your health more than a nuclear plant operator, waste water treatment worker, and embalmers. Otherwise just remember that other lists have called anesthesiology one of the best jobs in America

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