Nurses, nursing assistants and other health care professionals, have occupations that require caring daily for others. But what happens when as one of these professionals, you get hurt on the job?
Unfortunately you’re often not given proper care in return, and workplace injuries are checked off as unsubstantiated.
The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that in 2014, out of 10,000 hospital workers, 68 suffered from overextension injuries (injuries where there was bending, lifting, or reaching involved). In the medical profession, particularly in nursing, this occurs often. The number of hospital workers suffering from these injuries is double what a worker in a non-medical profession sustains. BLS also found that nursing employees suffer from more than 35,000 cases of back injuries and other injuries yearly.
When working with patients, whether it be in a hospital, nursing home or other facility, you subject your body to daily pressures. These may cause musculoskeletal injuries that can impact nerves, tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones. Moving or lifting patients from one place to another is often a manual process, and when it occurs frequently your chance for injury increases.
Medical environments should work to protect you as an employee, and provide proper training in how to go about lifting. Unfortunately, safety procedures are not always in place, increasing your chances of getting hurt. Hospitals do not always provide the proper hardware either, such as powered ceiling hoists, to help transfer patients. This does not help the present situation.
Laws are in place in each state to protect workers at their workplace, the same being true for nurses in a healthcare facility. If you are injured while working, you have a right to receive workers’ compensation to help with any medical bills and recovery that are due to an on-the-job injury. Physical damages could have occurred once or could be some that have lasting effects.
In 2015, NPR did a special series on injured nurses, deeming nursing as one of the more hazardous occupations in America. Nursing staff gets more than three times the amount of musculoskeletal injuries than the construction worker occupation. Often times, rules are in place in other industries that place a limit on how many pounds one should carry. As a nurse, you are not always entitled to that sort of protection.
Though your profession may be one where you are expected to be able to lift others or help patients shift, your rights to receive worker’s compensation are just as prominent. Contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation to make sure you receive recompense if you have been injured while working.
For all the caring you do, you deserve to be taken care of and protected, too.