Registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and medical assistants work long hours to care for and serve their patients. While in the workplace, various hazards, work tasks and environmental risks often result in injuries and illnesses that impair their ability to function both at work and outside of their regular duties.
Due to the nature of the work environment, these occupational hazards can be difficult to avoid and result in harm to the physical, mental or emotional wellbeing of healthcare professionals.
Hospitals and medical offices are places of healing, but they also contain many dangers. Workplace hazards often cause injuries such as:
- Slips and falls
- Pathogen exposure
- Chemical exposure
- Injuries caused by patient violence
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Back and neck strain
- Mental or emotional burnout or harm
The standard duties of healthcare professionals involve frequent bending, stretching, lifting and standing, as well as dealing with unpredictable patients and medical conditions, which can result in a host of illnesses, accidental needlesticks, equipment-related accidents and physical or emotional trauma.
As well, RNs, LPNs and medical assistants are often asked to work extended shifts or in stressful work conditions, which can cause undue strain due to overexertion.
Injuries that result from workplace conditions receive benefit coverage under standard worker’s compensation coverage. These benefits ensure that healthcare professionals receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills and rehabilitation expenses for work-related injuries.
Healthcare workers should be aware of their rights and eligibility for compensation when injured in the workplace. On-the-job injuries can be serious if left untreated. Those working in the medical field should receive adequate compensation to ensure a long and healthy career.