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What is the leading job injury risk for nurses in hospitals?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Workplace Injuries |

Some people refer to working as a nurse as a calling, not a job. It takes a lot of dedication to commit oneself to the support and care of those going through some kind of medical hardship. Nurses provide hands-on care to those unable to support themselves and bridge the gap between patient and doctor. They are a source of comfort and information to patients and their family members alike.

Unfortunately, nurses often have to make sacrifices to pursue their profession. It takes quite a bit of schooling to become a nurse, and there’s also a need to maintain state licensing. Depending on where a nurse works, they may have a very demanding schedule as well. Additionally, working in a hospital specifically is relatively risky.

Hospital employees have a well-documented chance of injury when that work. There are numerous risk factors that affect a nurse’s safety at work. Falls and unstable patients becoming violent are certainly cause for concern. However, a different job risk is responsible for almost half of all hospital worker injuries. What puts nurses at work more than anything else?

Overexertion of their bodies

The leading cause of hospital worker injuries is overexertion and bodily reaction. Simply put, people move too fast, twist too frequently and lift too much, resulting in injuries. Roughly 48% of all lost-time incidents in hospitals relate to overexertion.

Many nurses and other medical support professionals will suffer back injuries specifically, often due to lifting patients. Sprains, strains and even broken bones can result from nurses pushing themselves too hard and exceeding what their bodies can physically achieve. Overexertion injuries frequently result in a multi-week leave of absence from work or a need to immediately change one’s job responsibilities, which not every hospital can accommodate.

Workers’ compensation coverage provided by hospitals can help nurses support themselves until they can get back to work. The benefits available include medical coverage that can fully pay for someone’s treatment and also disability benefits that help supplement household income when a nurse must take a leave of absence or move into a lower-paid role.

Recognizing and avoiding top job injury risks can help nurses and other professionals reduce the likelihood that they will need to file a workers’ compensation claim.