The healthcare field is one of the most professionally demanding industries. Healthcare workers stay on their feet for long hours in high-pressure environments, and this reality can take a huge toll on the body. In fact, studies show that occupational injuries occur at staggering rates among healthcare workers.
Healthcare workers contend with a wide range of hazards while they’re caring for patients. Here are some of the leading causes of workplace injuries among nurses in California and across the nation.
Repetitive stress injuries and overexertion
Healthcare workers, including nurses, are more likely to develop musculoskeletal disorders than most other professionals. These injuries are generally attributable to long work hours and physically demanding job responsibilities. Some of a worker’s duties that are likely to either cause or exacerbate musculoskeletal injuries include:
- Manual lifting, transferring and repositioning patients
- Moving heavy equipment
- Working in an awkward position, such as leaning backwards for extended periods during surgical procedures
- Transporting patients in stretchers and wheelchairs
- Habitually sitting or standing for long hours while at work
This list is certainly not exhaustive, as even rocking infant patients for long hours can be wearing on the body.
Nurses use syringes for a variety of tasks, from drawing blood to administering medications. Handling these pointed objects can cause injuries, especially if a healthcare worker is fatigued, a patient is struggling or some other risk factor enhances the likelihood of an accident. Besides the physical injuries, used needle sticks can also expose workers to a risk of infection.
Pursuing compensation for your injuries
If you are hurt while caring for your patients, you may be eligible for compensation through California’s workers’ compensation program. To pursue your claim, however, it is important that you take certain crucial steps as soon as possible. These include reporting the injury in time (usually within 30 days from the date of your injury) and filing your claim within the statute of limitations period.
If you are hurt at work, know that you have rights. Find out how you can protect your rights and interests while pursuing workers’ comp claims in California by seeking legal guidance in the wake of sustaining a work-related injury.