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Lifting patients commonly causes nurses physical harm

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Although nursing may not seem like a dangerous profession, there are risks around every corner in a hospital and other medical settings. The majority of nurses work in hospitals, where they will have a higher-than-average risk of getting hurt on the job and requiring time away from their employment because of their injuries.

Workers’ compensation coverage thankfully helps protect medical workers, including nurses. They can receive medical benefits that could help cover their treatment costs and also potentially disability benefits that can replace some of their lost wages. Nurses may be more likely than many other professionals eventually make use of those workers’ compensation benefits.

Providing patient care is actually very risky

There are numerous risks that nurses have to accept when they start working to provide care for others. Lifting and supporting patients are perhaps the biggest concerns. Needing to assist people with limited mobility can either lead to a sudden traumatic injury or to a nurse developing a repetitive strain injury frequently overexerting the same body parts.

Almost half of all occupational injuries reported by nurses in 2016 involved overexertion and bodily reaction. Strains, sprains and tears due to heavy lifting and repetitive use are the most serious injury concern for nurses. Broken bones are also possible in cases involving falls, workplace violence and accidental contact with machinery. Head injuries, chemical burns and lacerations are also among the top-reported workplace injuries that force nurses to take time away from work.

Nurses working despite an injury could endanger their patients

Although nurses frequently feel as though they cannot take a leave of absence over what they perceive as a minor medical issue, the truth is that they may have to compromise the standard of care that they provide for their patients if they don’t take a leave of absence to fully recover. Additionally, they might worsen their own injuries, making it harder for them to continue their profession in the long run.

Seeking legal guidance to make use of workers’ compensation coverage may help nurses to continue supporting themselves and their families even if they require time away from work because of an injury.