Nurses constitute a valuable portion of the workforce. They are the backbone of the healthcare system, providing care and support to patients.
However, the nature of their jobs exposes them to various risks.
1. Lifting injuries
One of the most common workplace injuries among nurses arises from lifting. Nurses often have to help patients move from beds to chairs or stand up and may have to pick them up entirely for brief periods to shift them. The strain from lifting heavy individuals can lead to back injuries and muscle sprains. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, over 50 percent of injuries sustained by registered nurses were tears, strains or sprains.
2. Sharps injuries
Nurses frequently handle sharp objects like needles and scalpels, increasing the risk of accidental cuts and punctures. These injuries expose them to the possibility of infections and the transmission of dangerous diseases.
3. Slip and fall injuries
Hospitals and clinics can be fast-paced environments filled with many potential obstacles. Spills and cluttered walkways can cause nurses to slip, trip or fall while crowded hallways and the rush to aid patients can result in collisions with objects or other people. These accidents can result in sprains, fractures, head injuries or other serious injuries.
When nurses become injured in the course of performing their duties, they may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. It is important to report any incidents as soon as possible through the proper channels and gather evidence that the injury occurred because of work. Doing so can help prevent a claim rejection. Workers’ compensation helps cover medical costs and lost wages from missed work and can help ease the recovery process.