Do Nurses Suffer Injuries on the Job?

February 20, 2015

Did you know that nursing has one of the highest on-the-job injury rates in the country?

KWBU, a Public Radio station, reported recently that the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said there are more than 35,000 injuries among nursing employees every year. In many cases, these nurses end up missing a significant amount of time at work and/or have to go through rehabilitation and therapy.

In addition to injuries directly involving nurses, according to KWBU, “nursing assistants and orderlies each suffer roughly three times the rate of back and other musculoskeletal injuries as construction laborers.”

The station reported that these numbers place injured nurses ahead of the number of injured employees in occupations including trucking and warehouse work. David Michaels, the assistant secretary of Labor who heads the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), told KWBU that injuries among nurses are becoming such a problem that legislation might need to be introduced to help deal with issues.

“There’s no question: A national law requiring protection in hospitals would protect workers and would result in the reduction in musculoskeletal injuries in hospitals,” he says. “A lot of hospitals still believe this old myth that hospitals are safe places to work.”

The Story of a Nurse Who Was Injured

KBWU talked with one nurse, Tove Schuster, who helped another nurse lift a patient at Philadelphia hospital in 2010, which resulted in her suffering terrible spinal cord injuries.

The patient allegedly weighed more than 300 pounds and had just fallen on the floor. “I had her legs — a corner of one of the legs, anyway,” Schuster told KBWU. “And as we swung her up onto the bed, I felt something pop. And I went ‘ooo.’ ”

After experiencing significant pain, Schuster had her back examined and found out that she suffered a damaged disk, which she had to have surgery to repair. Sadly, her career as a floor nurse at a hospital ended after the incident.

Having an Attorney Review a Workplace Accident

It is sad that so many nurses are being placed in situations where they may suffer injuries on the job. Remember, it is an employers’ responsibility to protect workers by having safety prevention plans in place at worksites. This includes having plans in place if an employee is often asked to lift large objects or in instances (specifically in the medical field) where an employee may be subjected to violent outbursts by a patient.

If you are ever injured on the job, it may be a good idea to have your case reviewed by an attorney—while you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, sometimes this fails to provide enough money to help you recover. An attorney could review your case and determine if you may also be entitled to compensation through a lawsuit.

  

Source: http://kwbu.org/post/hospitals-fail-protect-nursing-staff-becoming-patients

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