Nurses are one of the most important healthcare professionals in America. However, their jobs can be risky. In between caring for patients and administering medicine to them, these professionals get predisposed to lots of illnesses. Fortunately, they can get adequate relief for their hurt with a Charlotte worker’s compensation attorney’s help.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace hazards for RNs resulted in 19,790 nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2016 (private industry). Also, 74.1 percent of all nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses to registered nurses (RNs) in 2016 occurred in hospitals. That connotes that nurses are at risk of work-related injuries in hospitals than anywhere else. The report also shows that over-exertion accounted for 45.6% of all injury cases for these professionals in 2016.
Apart from overexertion, slips, falls, violence, exposure to harmful chemicals, and many more cause injuries for them. In this article, we’ll study the most common hazards they face at their jobs. You’ll always learn how to reduce your risk of sustaining one. First, let’s discuss what happens after a nurse sustains a work-related injury.
Can Nurses File Workers’ Compensation Claims in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, specific employers must hold a workers’ compensation insurance policy. That includes employers in clinics, hospitals, surgical centers, etc. As such, nurses can successfully file work comp claims in North Carolina when the need arises. However, to be eligible, they must sustain injuries in an accident while carrying out activities on their job description.
What Are the Common Injuries Nurses Sustain on the Job?
The following are the risks that these professionals face at work:
Overexertion and Body Reaction Injuries
Many health care practitioners work long shifts doing stressful activities at a stretch. From lifting and moving patients and medical equipment, nurses can quickly strain their muscles and develop musculoskeletal injuries.
They can also develop repetitive stress injuries from constantly doing stressful work. In fact, most of the nonfatal injuries and illnesses among RNs resulted from overexertion and bodily reaction.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips and falls are another major cause of injuries in the healthcare industry. This hazard is usually due to wet floors or spilled liquids that make nurses lose their balance, trip, and fall. However, they may also fall when supporting unsteady patients. Slip and fall accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries and fractures.
Nurses are regularly exposed to harmful chemicals for treating patients and sterilizing medical instruments. Common examples of such harmful chemicals include ethylene oxide for sterilization, hazardous drugs, and pesticides. Nurses’ continued exposure to those toxins can predispose them to diseases and various health problems.
Nurses are prone to violence from patients, especially those with mental and psychological problems. In addition, family members of deceased patients may violently attack nurses due to shock and grief.
Medical practitioners are exposed to infectious diseases from the patients they treat. For example, many health care workers have caught COVID-19 due to exposure to patients with the disease.
Nurses who take patients’ X-rays may expose themselves to harmful radiation. That’s especially when the machine malfunctions or the nurse fails to observe safety regulations.
When nurses prick themselves with infected needles and syringes, they’re at high risk of infectious diseases. The most common infectious diseases nurses may get through sharp objects include HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C viruses.
How Can Nurses Reduce Their Risks of Severe Work Injuries?
Nurses can drastically reduce their risk of getting work-related injuries by doing the following:
- Get Lots of Sleep and Practice Good Self Care: Getting plenty of sleep after working long shifts can help you deal with stress and overexertion.
- Handle Needles and Sharp Objects Carefully: Avoid sharp object injuries by practicing safe needle handling techniques.
- Wash Your Hands: You can significantly reduce your risk of contracting illnesses and infections by washing your hands regularly.
- Practice Good Body Mechanics: Observe proper body postures while standing, lifting, and sitting.
Contact a Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Now!
As a nurse, you’re doing an amazing job caring for the sick in our society. However, it’s a risky job, and you must also pay attention to your health. If you sustain injuries while working, North Carolina’s workers’ compensation policy has got you covered.
However, it’ll be wise to hire a Charlotte workers’ comp attorney to access your benefits without hassles. Our lawyers at Waple & Houk specialize in your kind of case. We can get you all the benefits you deserve in little time. Get started by scheduling a free case evaluation with us this minute.