Registered nurses are some of the most valuable employees in the healthcare profession. They take care of patients’ needs, administer medications, and perform a variety of other critical duties. Despite their importance, nurses put themselves in harm’s way every day due to workplace hazards.
Nurses face several risks on the job. From belligerent patients to slippery floors, it is very common for those in the nursing profession to sustain serious injuries while at work. Nurses are susceptible to several injuries, including overexertion, fall injuries, and exposure to hazardous substances.
Nurses spend a significant portion of their day walking, lifting, bending, and standing. As a result, many nurses can develop overexertion injuries like sprains, strains, and back injuries due to these repetitive motions. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nurses suffered 10,510 overexertion and bodily reaction injuries resulting in days away from work in 2020 alone.
In a hospital or clinic setting, nurses come into contact with harmful substances and diseases that can result in serious harm. From chemicals and allergens to medications and viruses, nurses can develop severe illnesses and injuries on the job.
The BLS reports that 55,750 incidents of exposure to harmful substances or environments resulted in days away from work in 2020. This is a major increase from 2019, when 660 incidents were reported among nurses. This increase was likely due to work-related cases of COVID-19.
Nursing professionals can collide with large machines, run into hanging equipment, or even be accidentally stabbed by used needles. These incidents can result in serious harm, including blood-borne infections, bruises, and internal injuries. In 2020, the BLS reports that 2,830 injuries involving contact with objects or equipment resulted in days away from work.
From wet floors to loose cords and equipment, nurses can encounter various environmental hazards that can make it easy to slip, trip, and fall. Falls can be extremely painful, resulting in broken bones, soft tissue damage, and many more injuries. According to the BLS, there were 5,390 incidents of falls, slips, and trips suffered by nurses that resulted in days away from work.
Violent events are unfortunately common in the nursing profession. Patients may become violent while receiving treatment, employees can get into fights, or criminal perpetrators may enter the facility with the intent to cause harm.
Nurses can suffer serious injuries during these incidents, including gunshot wounds, traumatic brain damage, and spinal cord injuries. According to the BLS, nurses suffered 3,670 violent injuries caused by other people or animals that resulted in days away from work.
Nursing injuries can be extremely painful and have a major impact on your day-to-day life. If you are a healthcare worker who was injured at work, you may be eligible for benefits under Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system. An attorney can guide you through the process and help you recover the compensation that you deserve.
After your accident, seek medical care as soon as possible and ensure that your injuries are documented. Then, contact a lawyer as soon as you can to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.