Nursing & Patient Care Injuries
Nurses and other caretakers take care of the ill and the infirmed. Unfortunately, helping sick people can be a very physical and dangerous job. With the combination of lifting patients, pushing beds, working with potentially combative patients, with contagious individuals, and working around equipment, many nurses find themselves getting injured on the job.
In Ohio, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that if someone is injured in the course of his/her employment, that individual should receive coverage under the workers’ compensation system regardless of who is at fault for the injuries. This coverage may include compensation to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income due to taking time off of work.
Nurses pursue and keep their jobs because they want to help people get better. So when they get hurt and find out that this system is not always eager to help them the way that they help their patients, it can be a confusing experience. If you are used to being the one helping the injured, being the one injured can be very frustrating.
The following are just a few ways in which nurses often get injured. They apply to the many fields in which nurses and other caretakers often get injured. Nursing and caretaking occur in many places, whether it be in traditional hospital settings, at nursing homes, or at home care locations. Each of these settings has its own unique challenges, but many of the risks for all of these health care employees overlap.
Lifting and Moving Patients
The most common nursing-related injuries arise from lifting and moving patients. As anyone in the health care industry knows, the human body is an awkward thing to move; the weight is simply not distributed in a way that makes moving someone easy. Unfortunately, this means that lifting and moving patients leads to a lot of injuries. At the Harris Firm, we have seen back injuries, neck injures, shoulder injuries, knee injuries and many other injuries suffered by health care workers trying to move patients. If such an injury occurs, it is covered by the workers’ compensation system, even if the employer tries to blame the injury on the worker (again this system does not consider who is at fault, injuries are simply covered). If you suffer an injury moving a patient, you should pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
Dealing with Combative Patients or Patient Attacks
While the average person may not realize this, nurses and health care workers know that they are in one of the professions where employees are most likely to encounter physical violence. This is largely due to patients who fall into one of three categories: 1) individuals with psychological issues that may make them violent or resistant; 2) individuals with dementia which can make them more likely to be resistant; 3) individuals who may act out due to addiction issues. Individuals in any of these subsets can act unpredictably, and, unfortunately, injuries often arise from this unpredictable behavior. We have seen health care workers who have been hit, kicked, pushed, pulled, bit, tripped and tackled by resistant patients. These kinds of incidents can lead to a variety of injuries and those injuries, and their consequences should be covered by workers’ compensation.
Slip and Falls
Health care workers encounter fluids of all kinds. Those fluids can get on the floor and lead to slip and falls. Even rushing around hospital hallways, nursing homes, or patient’s houses can increase the risk that a worker will suffer a fall. Regardless of the circumstances, it is likely that any injuries sustained from such falls should be covered by workers’ compensation.
Needle Stick Injuries
Using and being around needles is a common part of health care professions. Unfortunately, being around needles sometimes leads to accidentally being stuck by needles. When those needles have been used on patients prior to the needle stick injury, the health care professional is put at risk of contracting any communicable ailments that the patient might suffer from. Fortunately, workers’ compensation has special rules for this very situation. If you are stuck by a needle at work, you have a workers’ compensation claim and workers’ compensation will cover the testing required to determine that you have not contracted an illness from the needle stick. In the unfortunate situation that an illness has been contracted, workers’ compensation will cover any treatment related to that illness as well.
Moving Beds and Furniture
Many nurses, and particularly those in-home health care, have to move heavy items as part of their jobs. In a hospital or nursing home facility, that may focus on beds and medical equipment. In a home health care setting, even more may be asked. Any time a person is injured in the course of moving items for work-related purposes, a workers’ compensation should ensue.
Being around sick people is central to the jobs most persons in the health care industry perform. If a nurse contracts an illness from a patient and can demonstrate that a patient was the source of the illness, a workers’ compensation claim should cover any issues related to that illness.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Some nurses are asked to travel to numerous locations during a given day in order to check on a variety of patients. If a motor vehicle accident occurs in the course of such travels, it is covered by workers’ compensation and any bills and/or lost time-related to the accident should be covered by workers’ compensation.\
At The Harris Firm, we are completely devoted to workers’ compensation and social security. This means that all of our attention is focused on the injured workers that walk through our door. Each one of our attorneys cares about helping those who have been injured and need help fighting for their rights and the compensation that they deserve. If you are a nurse that has been injured on the job, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys.
One of the most common reasons that we see nurses walk through our door is because of back injuries that occurred on the job. With the nature of these occupations, nurses and other medical professionals often have to physically pick patients up and move them. This process can often result in back injuries for a multitude of different reasons, with the most common injuries arising from medical professionals being asked to move people or heavy objects in a way that puts pressure on their backs.
While some back injuries are minor and will heal fairly easily, others can require a lot of medical treatment and even surgery. This treatment can mean very high medical bills and surgery can result in a lot of time off work. With bills racking up and income being lost, a back injury can cause a large financial burden. However, if that injury occurred on the job, workers’ compensation is in place to protect the injured party, and that person becomes entitled to medical coverage and financial compensation for his or her injury.
Even seemingly minor back injuries should not be overlooked. Even the most minuscule of incidents can create a large financial impact. Moreover, an injury that seems minor at first, may turn out to be more significant than originally thought, so make sure to protect yourself no matter how severe you think your injury might be. If your back has been injured while moving a patient or in some other on-the-job incident, it is best to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. We can help get you started from step one, assuring that you are heading in the right direction the entire way. Call a Cincinnati, Ohio attorney at The Harris Firm today.
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The workers’ compensation system can be very confusing and frustrating to navigate. As we work exclusively in the workers’ compensation and social security fields, The Harris Firm knows the ins and outs of this system. We are prepared to work with all different kinds of workers’ compensation and social security cases. We have worked with nurses, doctors, and medical caretakers in many different types of cases, and we are prepared to keep fighting for the rights and fair compensation of those that work every day to keep us healthy.
If you or a loved one has been injured or has become ill due to an incident during a nursing or medical care job in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, do not wait to contact one of the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at The Harris Firm today. We understand this complicated system, and we want to help you every step of the way. However, this cannot happen unless you reach out. Nobody that provides medical care to others should have to suffer through their own injury or illness alone. We will stand by you to the very end, helping you understand and make every legal decision that comes your way. Call us today.