Minnesota nurses know better than anyone the hazards that can come with the profession. Some nurses consider these workplace hazards as being part of the job but don’t realize that they can get worker’s compensation if they get injured or sick due to the job.
What are some of the hazards of patient care?
Nurses have to deal with infectious diseases at an alarming rate, seeing over 20 patients a day in some medical facilities. The amount of exposure that a nurse sees varies from hospital to hospital, but infectious diseases are some of the most common hazards.
While you can’t get worker’s compensation benefits for a cold or flu, if you get a disease that causes long-term damage to your health and ability to make money, you might be eligible. Things like HIV and Hep-C are the biggest examples of infectious diseases that can be life-changing if acquired.
Physical injury and workplace violence
Nurses and health care workers are at a higher risk of injury due to over-exertion. Things like sprains, muscle strains, and injuries to bones and muscles are more common due to extra-long shifts and time spent on their feet.
Actual injuries can happen due to slips, trips, and falls while on the job. Nurses often work with a lot of fluid and are rushing around the hospital, which puts them at greater risk of falling and injuring themselves.
Hospitals also deal with patients who can be violent or mentally unwell. Nurses are put in dangerous situations while caring for their patients, which can cause a lot of physical and mental damage.
How to avoid workplace injuries as a nurse
It’s up to the hospital to protect its workers and prevent nurses from burning out. While nurses can speak up if a hazard is present in their hospital, it’s up to the hospital to make the changes.
When nurses get injured on the job, it’s worth looking into whether or not the hospital could have prevented the incident by having better policies or better-trained staff. If you’re a nurse who gets injured on the job, researches all your options before filing for worker’s compensation.