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Nursing is a hazardous occupation

On Behalf of | May 5, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Nurses have demanding jobs that require them to deal with hazards on each shift. These challenges can put them in considerable danger of suffering injuries while they’re working.

The onus is on an employer to ensure that all employees have a safe workplace. When they don’t do this and nurses suffer an injury, those nurses should be able to count on workers’ compensation to cover their medical costs.

Common injuries faced by nurses

Nurses are frequently exposed to various risks that can lead to serious injuries on the job. One of the most common types of injuries they face is musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which include injuries to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels. These are often caused by repetitive tasks such as lifting and moving patients, which can strain the back, neck and extremities.

The severity of MSDs can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that may necessitate long-term medical treatment or even lead to permanent disability. The frequent need for quick movements and handling heavy loads make nurses particularly susceptible to these injuries.

Effective training on proper lifting techniques and using assistive devices are crucial in reducing these risks. However, understaffing and high patient-to-nurse ratios can exacerbate the problem because they may lead to rushed procedures and inadequate time to use proper methods.

Workplace hazards leading to injuries

In addition to physical injuries, nurses are also exposed to various workplace hazards that can threaten their health and safety. One significant hazard is the exposure to infectious diseases. Nurses come into close contact with patients who may carry infectious agents, and the nature of their work often involves exposure to bodily fluids, which can transmit diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

Another critical hazard is the exposure to chemical and drug agents. Handling medications, cleaning agents and the use of chemotherapy drugs can expose nurses to potentially harmful chemicals that may have long-term health effects. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and strict adherence to safety protocols are essential to minimize these risks.

It’s sometimes necessary to fight for workers’ compensation benefits. Having a legal representative who can wage that battle may help an injured nurse to get the benefits they’re due.