Nurses face a variety of occupational hazards when they are caring for patients. These hazards can potentially lead to injuries or illnesses, often resulting in the need for workers’ compensation benefits.
By better understanding the risks that nurses face on the job, these healthcare professionals can better ensure their personal safety by being proactive. They can also better understand when filing a workers’ compensation claim may be warranted after sustaining job-related harm.
One of the most common risks for nurses is physical injury. This includes musculoskeletal injuries from lifting and moving patients, which can lead to strains, sprains and back problems. Long hours spent standing or walking can also result in leg and foot injuries. These physical demands of the job, especially in emergency and intensive care units, can result in debilitating conditions that may necessitate a workers’ compensation claim.
Exposure to infectious diseases
Nurses are routinely exposed to a variety of infectious diseases. The risk is heightened in settings where they have to handle needles and sharp instruments, increasing the possibility of cuts or needlestick injuries that could transmit infections.
Workplace violence is another significant hazard faced by nurses. They often deal with patients in stressful, high-stakes environments, which can lead to aggressive or violent behavior from patients or their family members. Physical assaults or even the threat of harm can result in lasting psychological and physical impacts, necessitating medical care and time off of work to recover.
For nurses dealing with these occupational hazards, understanding their rights and the processes for filing workers’ compensation claims is important. When it comes to exercising one’s workplace rights, knowledge is power. Keep in mind that seeking legal guidance is always an option when questions, concerns or other needs for assistance with a claim arise.