These days, health care workers are under especially heavy pressure. COVID-19 has a lot of people worried, and the full impact of the epidemic remains to be seen.
In addition to the threat of the illness itself, health care workers have to contend with a massive influx of patients, and historically that means a greater risk of injury on the job. In the coming weeks, there will also be situations where workers contract coronavirus in the course of their employment. Anyone dealing with that situation needs to know the options for receiving all the medical care and workers’ compensation they need to get life back to normal.
5 Common Injuries Among Health Care Workers
It’s a little-known fact, but nurses suffer injuries on job at three times the rate of construction workers. So what are the most common injuries among nurses and other health care professionals? Here are five of the most common:
- Overexertion is a widespread problem among health care workers. In fact, studies have shown that musculoskeletal disorders are seven times more likely to occur in health care workers than in other workers. Typically, this type of injury is due to repetitive stress. Shoulders and elbow injuries are common.
- Back injuries are also common in the health care profession. It’s a physically demanding job, and back injuries often occur due to moving patients, as well as lifting heavy items like health care equipment and supplies.
- Head injuries happen more often than you might expect in a health care setting. Most often, these injuries are due to slips and falls in the workplace.
- Needle sticks are also common. Many health care workers use needles to treat patients on a daily basis. That means nurses face a higher risk of punctures and cuts, not to mention the possibility of blood-borne illnesses that could be contracted through a needle injury.
- Violence is unfortunately a serious concern in the health care setting. Patients with mental health issues may have outbursts that result in serious injuries to health care providers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also points out that hospitals and clinics may be targeted for robberies, due to the drugs kept in these facilities.
If you suffer an injury in the course of your employment, it is important that you get the full range of workers’ compensation benefits you need. In many cases, employers and their insurance companies try to minimize or deny benefits, or try to force workers back to work before their injuries have healed. Don’t let that happen to you. Talk with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you can after a work injury.