Working conditions in a hospital setting are often difficult. For nurses who see patients day after day, lift them out of bed, administer medications and perform other treatments, the reality is that the job can cause immense stress and wear and tear on their bodies.
Nurses who are hurt on the job are able to seek out workers’ compensation for their injuries. Nurses may be able to access compensation that will help cover their medical care and treatment, provide them with coverage for at least a portion of their lost wages and help prepare them to return to work if and when that time comes.
Nursing is a dangerous job
Nursing is one of the most dangerous, physically wearing jobs in a hospital. Nurses are often asked to lift heavy patients and to help those who cannot walk or support themselves. These patients may be much heavier than their nurses in some cases. For example, one nurse who weighed only 125 pounds stated that she was often moving immobilized patients with her colleagues. Those patients were, in most cases, around 300 pounds in her unit.
Safety protocols have to be followed to help prevent injuries caused by lifting. Unfortunately, not all hospitals have the same policies or tools to help nurses.
That’s why a federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule is so important to people in this field. OSHA makes injury data public through a website that allows anyone to search different employers and to see the illness and injury reports that have been filed by their workers.
Why is that so important? In the past, employers were required to keep paper copies, but they didn’t have to make them public. Now, OSHA has to be informed, and those injuries must be reported publicly. This makes issues regarding safety in the workplace more apparent, which in turn helps hospitals and others address them.
Nursing is a hazardous job, and many nurses do get hurt. If you are hurt while working, remember that you have the right to seek workers’ compensation. You should be able to focus on your recovery and to rely on that coverage until you are able to return to work, retrain for a new position or take steps to get compensated for a long-term disability.