Nurses play a crucial role in our healthcare systems, but they also face unique risks while performing their routine duties. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nursing has the highest rate of nonfatal occupational injuries. In 2016 alone, work hazards caused 19,790 nonfatal injuries and illnesses to nurses in the U.S.
Most nurses spend the majority of their shifts walking, bending, stretching, lifting or moving patients, and working with potentially hazardous or harmful substances. Due to these risks, nurses suffer certain injuries at a much higher rate than other workers.
Muscle Sprains and Strains
Nurses face injuries from constantly lifting patients and pushing wheelchairs or gurneys, which may lead to sprains or strains in neck, back, leg, or arm muscles. Eventually, these may result in repetitive stress injuries. If hospitals fail to supply nurses with proper lifting equipment, it can lead to a higher risk of injury.
Most on-duty nurses are taking care of multiple patients at once, which requires them to walk back and forth to various locations of the hospital or healthcare facility. Slip and fall accidents can result from slipping on a wet floor or simply by a nurse losing balance while checking on various patients.
Patient violence is a real concern for nurses on the job. Alarmingly, the American Nurses Association reports that 1 in 4 nurses has experienced physical violence or an assault from a patient. Such attacks more often lead to bruising, soreness, swelling, and even PTSD as a result.
Nurses are confronted with potential exposure to various substances that pose a safety hazard, including chemotherapy, x-ray radiation, hazardous drugs, or even pesticides. Additionally, the very nature of a nurse’s job means that they are more likely to come into close contact with someone who has an infectious or contagious disease.
Beyond physical injuries, nurses have an incredibly stressful job and can experience emotional damage as a result of their jobs. They may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or other psychological conditions from natural stressors of the job as well as patient violence.
Advocating for Injured Nurses in Georgia
At The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, our workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured nurses across Georgia. Whatever the situation of your work injury or illness, our firm is here to stand in your corner and provide you with caring, effective legal representations in difficult times.
Contact our firm at (770) 629-9321 to get started on your case.