Workers Compensation for Nurses
Nurses and other healthcare workers are among the most likely to suffer an injury or illness at their place of employment that qualifies them for workers’ compensation benefits.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more work-related injuries and illnesses cause hospital employees to miss work each year, than either construction or manufacturing workers. OSHA also reports that 8 out of 10 nurses report frequently working with musculoskeletal pain. They further found that almost ¼ of nurses changed shifts or took sick leave to recover from an injury – but did not report the injury to their employer.
This comes as no surprise, since many selfless nurses are often so focused on patient care, that they ignore their own injuries. Other nurses may be hesitant to file a workers’ comp claim after an injury on the job, for fear of losing wages, or because they are afraid of retaliation, or simply due to the fact that they incorrectly assume that their condition isn’t “serious enough” to collect workers’ compensation.
However, if you are an injured nurse or healthcare worker who is unable to work, you should file a workers’ compensation claim for the sake of your own health – as well as for the safety of your patients and the overall betterment of your hospital or employer.
Why Nurses Should File Workers’ Compensation Claims
Many nurses opt to “push through” and keep trying to work, despite injuries for which they should be seeking medical care themselves. But while we admire nurses’ selflessness, it is actually very important that a nurse injured at work take the time heal and recover.
- Nurses who are fatigued or stressed due to an injury and illness have a higher risk of causing medication errors
- Nurses who are sick have a high chance of infecting patients
- Nurses unable to move patients properly due to musculoskeletal injuries or pain put patients at higher risk of fall, injury, or bed sores
- Without filing a workers’ comp claim, a nurse may have to cover her medical expenses out of pocket
- Without filing a workers’ comp claim, a nurse may not be compensated for lost wages
Common Nurses’ Workers’ Compensation Injuries & Illnesses
Any injury or illness incurred while a nurse is performing work duties that prevents her/him from working qualifies for workers’ compensation. Some of the most common illnesses and injuries that may qualify a nurse for workers’ compensation benefits are
- Infections from patients through contact, airborne germs or exposure to blood borne pathogens
- Exposure to hazardous materials, including chemicals, waste, drugs, and radiation
- Muscle sprains and strains from moving, lifting, and transporting patients
- Assaults by unruly or combative patients (or family members of patients)
- Workplace violence
- Chronic injury or strain from repetitive tasks (e.g., Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
- Cuts and punctures
Nurses’ Workers’ Compensation for Back Injury
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses suffer more than 35,000 back and musculoskeletal injuries on the job every year that are serious enough to prevent them from working. The American Nurses Association reports that more than one-third of back injuries among healthcare workers are due to handling patients.
This is no surprise to any nurse since their duties routinely involve: rotating patients and moving them in their beds; getting patients in and out of bed; dressing patients; bathing patients and getting them on/off bed pans and toilets; moving patients for procedures; and carrying and moving medical devices.
In an effort to help reduce musculoskeletal injury among healthcare workers, The Hospital Patient and Healthcare Worker Injury Protection Act was adopted into the California Labor Code. It requires healthcare employers to enact measures that will reduce injuries for those who have to lift and move patients.
Nurses’ Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Nurses give so much to others. Yet, sadly, they are often taken for granted in spite of how tirelessly they work to care for others. Nurses and other healthcare workers are injured on the job much more frequently than most people realize.
If you are a nurse who has been injured or made ill on the job, you owe it to yourself to discuss your situation with a nurses’ workers’ compensation attorneys who is experienced in fighting for the rights of nurses on the front lines of patient care. An experienced nurses’ workers compensation attorney can help you identify minor issues before they become major problems – and make sure that you not only receive your benefits now, but for years to come.
Your consultation with our experienced nurses’ workers’ compensation attorneys is 100% confidential, and neither your employer nor your insurance company will be notified that you requested a consultation with us. Our attorneys will help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits for which you qualify.
Nurses’ Workers Compensation Attorneys: 800-964-8047