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The physical risks of working in the healthcare industry

It’s easy to picture healthcare workers tending to the injuries of others. It is, after all, what they’ve been trained to do. But what happens when the professionals devoted to healing those who are hurt find themselves injured in the process?

Common causes of workplace injuries in healthcare

With the physical demands placed on nurses and other healthcare providers, it’s easy to see how a workplace injury could happen. Some common workplace injuries occur during the administration of routine care to patients ranging from such activities as:

  • Walking to and from patients’ rooms
  • Lifting and moving patients
  • Administering drugs and radiation
  • Accidental needlesticks
  • Using potentially hazardous chemicals for cleaning

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 20,150 illness and nonfatal injuries reported that required registered nurses who were working in private industry to miss work during 2019. These injuries ranged from sprains and strains to fractures and contusions. Back issues accounted for the largest number of the reported injuries with the most common sources being administering care through such activities as moving a patient or slipping and falling on a hard surface.

What to do when injured on the job

While there is a level of assumed risk in many professions, it’s easy to see how nurses and other healthcare providers face a high potential for on-the-job injuries. Taking measures to ensure the workplace is safe and staff is properly trained can help reduce the incident rate, but accidents are not always avoidable. When the professionals providing healthcare require medical treatment as a result of performing their duties, they should seek treatment immediately, file a workers’ compensation claim and work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help ensure proper compensation for medical care and any lost wages.

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