Nursing assistants are the backbone of nursing homes, providing basic care and assistance to residents. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing assistants have a higher injury rate than any other occupation.
While many injuries only require first-aid treatment, some can result in lost time, work restrictions, or even permanent disability.
What are the most common causes of injuries among nursing assistants?
If you work as a nurse aide in a nursing home, there is a high probability that you received an injury or will be injured while on the job.
Nursing assistants are more likely than other workers to receive a workplace injury. The job is physically demanding, especially when working with an elderly population that requires total care. Nursing assistants face several hazards during their shift, including:
- Hitting, kicking, and biting from elderly residents with dementia
- Muscle strains from lifting residents
- Exposure to bloodborne pathogens
- Exposure to respiratory infections
One survey found that back injuries account for 40% of injuries reported by nurse aides, and many of those injuries result in lost work time.
Furthermore, certain conditions can increase the likelihood of an accident or injury occurring. One such condition is stress. Employees who are working long hours, earning low wages, and dealing with mandatory overtime are more likely to be stressed than those who are not. In addition, inadequate staffing levels and a high turnover rate can also lead to increased stress levels. Stressed workers are more likely to make mistakes or take shortcuts that can lead to accidents.
If you are a nursing assistant and receive a back injury at work that requires you to be off work, you are probably worried about how you will pay your bills and take care of your family. Speaking with someone about worker’s compensation can provide answers and peace of mind.