Nursing is a job many feel called to do. Helping people in their time of need is a wonderful feeling, but that high also comes with lows. Nurses suffer work-related injuries no matter what hospital they work in. In fact, the nursing field is facing a shortage as fewer people decide to join the profession. It’s possible that the lack of nurses in Greenville hospitals is putting the remaining staff at an even higher risk of work-related injuries. But no matter where nurses work in North Carolina, they need to protect themselves from injuries and dangerous situations as they treat patients and take care of their duties.
Common Work-Related Injuries for Nurses
Back injuries are by far the most common work-related injury for nurses. The transfer of patients from one bed to the next, lifting them when they fall, and handling overweight, or bariatric, patients are all actions that lead to lumbar spine injury. Other injuries include:
- Slip and fall from fluids spilled onto the floor
- Needle sticks from syringes left out before or after use
- Cuts from sharp instruments used in the treatment of patients
- Exposure to airborne and blood borne pathogens
- Mentally ill or unstable patients prone to violence
Nurses can expect to experience most or all of these issues throughout the course of their career. Hospitals are not the safest place to work, and are considered by OSHA to have working environments that are less safe than construction sites. Some of the blame lands squarely on the hospitals themselves, especially when safety training becomes an afterthought. And while most hospitals keep security staff on site, they may not hire enough to deal with the amount of troubled patients that come through the door.
Who’s Responsible for Work-Related Injuries in Hospitals?
Hospital administration sets the tone for safety in the hospital. If there is a failure to educate and put safety protocols in place, the hospital bears full responsibility for certain types of injuries. When it comes to back injuries, hospitals could protect nurses more effectively by making lift equipment available for moving larger patients or those who have no ability to help move themselves at all. Slip and falls tend to be more difficult to prevent due to their nature, but not impossible. Non-slip flooring and making sure cleaning equipment is available can also greatly reduce the risk of injury among nurses.
However, when hospitals don’t think it’s worth their time to invest in these safety measures, nurses and hospital staff get hurt, patients are put at risk, and there’s even less staff available for work.
What to Do After Suffering From an Injury While Working in a Hospital
The first step is to get medical intervention as soon as possible in order to receive a diagnosis. If the injury is severe enough that missing more than a couple of days of work to recover is necessary, it may be time to file a workman’s compensation claim. Nurses shouldn’t lose their income and incur medical bills simply because the hospital wasn’t interested in using protective measures.
Greenville, NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation attorney in Greenville, NC specializing in nursing injuries. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work, please call me at please call me at (252) 777-2222 or (888) 484-6881 for free, friendly advice.
Founder of the leading personal injury website: http://www.riccilawnc.com/personal-injury/