Working in a hospital is actually among the most dangerous jobs that a person can have. There are numerous ways for hospital staff members to wind up hurt on the job, ranging from slipping on a wet spot on the floor and falling to violence caused by intoxicated patients or those experiencing dementia.
Many circumstances that might lead to worker injury are outside of the control of the individual staff member. However, the single most common cause of hospital worker injury is something that individual workers can take steps to minimize for their own safety.
Overexertion, often due to patient handling, is the biggest job risk
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers report any workplace accident or injury that results in someone missing work. They classify the scenarios that lead to injuries in order to institute the best possible regulations and safety rules for various industries.
For those working in hospital settings in the health care industry, the single biggest risk factor for a job injury is going to be bodily overexertion, often because of patient handling. Nurses, nurse’s aides and other professionals may have to help patients get out of bed, go to the bathroom or even dress themselves.
Trying to lift or move a patient without proper equipment or adequate help can lead to a medical worker injuring their joints, muscles or even bones. Such overexertion injuries account for 48% of all time-lost workplace accidents in hospitals. Waiting until you have help or using lifting equipment can help you protect yourself from injury on the job. However, even with everyone adhering to best practices, some hospital workers will still end up overexerting themselves at work.
Overexertion injuries typically lead to time off of work
When someone strains a muscle, tears connective tissue or otherwise overexerts their body, their injury will commonly result in the need to rest the affected body part. It can take several weeks or even several months for an overexertion injury to fully heal.
Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits will protect injured hospital workers during that convalescent period. They can receive a portion of their wages while also knowing that the medical care they require will have full coverage through workers’ compensation. Getting help with a claim early will let you focus on your own recovery so that you can get back to helping heal others.