In the United States, nurses are an important part of the healthcare system. Every day, they go above and beyond the call of duty to care for patients and assist doctors and other members of the healthcare team. Whether that is simply comforting patients and offering compassion to those in need, or spreading awareness about health issues in the community, conducting screenings, and offering countless other forms of assistance.
But, what happens if a nurse is hurt on the job and has to switch roles and become a patient instead? Nurses confront potential health risks on the job, despite the fact that few people consider nursing to be a particularly hazardous occupation. Nurses' jobs require them to move around, stand, lift, bend, and stretch, and to deal with potentially dangerous substances.
When a nurse is hurt on the job, what should they do? Below is important information about what you should know about injuries and nursing.
While this is useful information, you should consult a NJ workers’ comp lawyer if you have questions. The team at Brandon J. Broderick has helped countless clients, including many nurses. We can help you through difficult situations like this.
Injuries Commonly Sustained at Work by Nurses
The rate at which hospital personnel sustain an illness or injury during an accident on the job is significantly greater than the national average, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Injuries are very common among nurses too. There were nearly 20,000 injuries among nurses in 2016 that required at least one day off.
The most typical forms of injury experienced by nurses are:
Overexertion: Injuries from overexertion occur when a nurse works too hard or performs the same motions, such as twisting, lifting, or bending, over and over again. When providing care, nurses frequently overexert themselves by moving or lifting patients. Muscle sprains and strains, back trauma, knee injuries, and other musculoskeletal issues can all be the result of overuse.
Slip and Fall: While overexertion is the most common cause of injuries for nurses, slip and fall accidents come in at a close second. Water, ice, bodily fluids, oil, and other liquids present tripping risks and impediments in hospitals and doctor's offices. Cords and other potential tripwires are also present.
Exposure to Harmful Substances: Healthcare facilities, including hospitals, often house harmful chemicals as a consequence of therapy or disinfectants. Sterilants, organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, and latex are just some of the substances that nurses may come into contact with during the course of their work. A nurse could become seriously ill by accidental exposure to these substances.
Violence: There have been incidents of violence involving hospitalized patients who were either disoriented or agitated. The nursing care team is often the target of the patient's resulting violent rage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the prevalence of violent events among nurses is three times higher than the rate of violent events for all other professions, despite the fact that violent interactions accounted for approximately 12% of all injuries to nurses.
If you're a nurse who's been hurt on the job, you can file a claim for worker's comp benefits to help cover your costs and get you back on your feet financially.
Steps To Take After a Nurse Suffers Injury at Work
If you're a nurse that has been injured while working, you don't need to suffer in silence. You do have options. New Jersey's workers' compensation program is there to aid with lost wages and medical costs while you recover.
It's important to understand the measures you must take to collect worker's compensation benefits in New Jersey in the event of an on-the-job injury:
Report the injury to your supervisor: You should inform your supervisor, manager or boss of your injury as soon as possible, preferably in writing. It's important to detail the circumstances surrounding your injury and specifics related to it. You have the right to receive copies of any accident reports filed by your company.
Request a list of approved doctors: When seeking medical treatment for an injury or illness related to your job, you must consult with a doctor or other healthcare provider that is approved by your employer for continued care. In the event of an emergency, any doctor or urgent care can be used. This means, you must seek care from a doctor who is on the approved list.
Seek Medical Attention: Getting medical care is one of the most important steps even if you don't think you need it. An injured nurse should seek medical assistance right away. Sometimes, certain injuries can worsen if left untreated. It's important to tell the doctor anything that's bothering you about your work-related injury.
Talk to an NJ Workers' Comp Lawyer: Talk to a lawyer who specializes in workers' compensation. This program is meant to help those who are hurt while on the job, but it may be difficult to navigate the system at times. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference when dealing with insurance companies. Adjusters are notorious for denying or dragging out payment of legitimate claims. It doesn't cost you anything out of pocket to retain the services of a lawyer. Many work on contingency and are only paid if successful in obtaining benefits for you.
You are eligible for worker's compensation benefits if your injury occurred while working or performing duties related to your job. Do not wait to file a claim or you risk having your claim denied. If you have questions, speaking with a lawyer is the best course of action.
Allow Brandon J. Broderick to Be Your NJ Workers' Compensation Law Firm
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, has helped secure benefits for hundreds of nurses injured on the job. When filing for workers' compensation, you can rely on our team and experience to get you the results you are entitled to. Don't let the insurance company decide how your claim turns out; contact us first and we can discuss your case and advise you on how to move forward.
Consultations are free and we are available 24-7, so give us a call today.