Working in health care is a way for you to make a meaningful and positive impact on the world around you. However, your employment also puts you at risk. Health care professionals are more likely to get hurt on the job than people in many other private industries.
Not only do health care professionals have to worry about patient violence and contact with dangerous objects and bodily fluids, but they are also at risk of hurting their backs. Some research indicates as many as one in five healthcare professionals have back pain issues.
Why are back injuries such a common issue among modern medical professionals?
Patient care can involve heavy lifting
One of the most difficult aspects of working in a hospital, rehabilitation center or nursing home will be providing physical support for those with mobility limitations. While some facilities have Hoyers and workers can ask for support from others, often they have too much demand on their time to consistently use Hoyers or wait for help.
The lifting involved with assisting someone who has fallen or getting a usually bedridden patient to the bathroom can cause a traumatic injury to the back or repetitive stress due to frequent overexertion. As the average patient’s weight may be higher now than when someone started working in medicine decades ago, the risk of medical workers getting hurt on the job has gone up as well.
Back injuries may get worse with time
Even if you hurt your back helping someone off the floor, there will still be an entire shift’s worth of job responsibilities to fulfill and patients depending on you. Nurses and other medical professionals often feel like they can’t slow down, let alone take time off for a back injury.
If you don’t report the issue and get the care that you need, you may end up dealing with chronic pain and unable to do your job safely. Health care professionals can make workers’ compensation claims if they require medical treatment or time off of work because of a back injury. They can receive full coverage for their care and also disability benefits until they can get back to work.
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits if you have a back injury and work in health care will help ensure you can provide support for others in the future instead of ending your career early due to an injury.