Nursing is a rewarding career, but there is ongoing potential for a job-related injury.
Nurses face exposure to hazardous substances, but they also risk the possibility of injury from the everyday demands of their profession.
An overall view
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps an accounting of work-related injuries in all occupations. In terms of nursing injuries in 2016, sprains, strains and tears were the most prevalent, and interaction with patients caused the majority of these medical issues. Falls, slips and trips were also common. Nurses in the 20 to 24 age group suffered the most injuries to their trunks and upper extremities while those in the 55 to 64 age group sustained more injuries to their lower extremities.
Hazardous substances and more
Nurses work with potentially hazardous substances that include drugs, radiation and chemicals for cleaning. In addition, their daily tasks include bending and stretching. They must also lift and move patients, activities that often lead to back injuries.
In 2016, job-related injuries and illnesses fell into two categories. Musculoskeletal disorders took first place followed by illnesses and injuries caused as the result of overexertion. The number of cases varied according to the age of the worker. Today, any nurse who sustains a work-related illness or injury must first seek medical attention and report the incident to his or her employer. The next step is to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Any member of the nursing profession injured on the job has a right to expect maximum compensation to cover his or her medical expenses and lost wages.