While nursing might not seem like a particularly dangerous occupation, nurses can be susceptible to many kinds of workplace injuries. In fact, in 2021, health care and social assistance was the leading industry that filed reports of workplace injuries in Missouri, and the industry with the third highest number of claims for compensation, resulting in nearly 1,500 claims.
What kinds of injuries do nurses typically experience?
One of the most common injuries that nurses experience is back injuries. This is due to the fact that nurses often have to lift patients who are unable to do so themselves. Another common type of injury that nurses experience is slips and falls. This can be due to slippery floors or wet surfaces. Nurses who work in surgical settings may also experience cuts and punctures from sharp instruments, such as scalpels. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also a common injury among nurses, due to the fact that they often have to perform repetitive motions with their hands.
Other health problems are usually a direct result of the type of work that nurses do. For example, those who work in psychiatric wards may be at risk for being assaulted by patients. Nurses who work in emergency departments may be exposed to infectious diseases. And, nurses who work with hazardous materials may be at risk for exposure to harmful chemicals.
What should you do if you experience a workplace injury?
If you experience a workplace injury, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Once you have been seen by a medical professional, you should then notify your employer. You will also need to fill out workers' compensation paperwork.
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to workers who get injured on the job. Depending on your employer and the nature of your injury, you may return to work with modified duties.
Although it's not always possible to avoid workplace injuries, there are some things that you can do to reduce your risk. Make sure to warm up before your shift and stretch your muscles. Take breaks often to rest your body. Lastly, be aware of your surroundings so that you can avoid potential hazards.