People typically go into the medical field because they want to help others live their best lives. Unfortunately, along with the responsibility for the care of other human beings, medical workers often have higher risks of on-the-job injuries than other kinds of employees.
While few people think of hospitals as innately dangerous, there are many work-related injuries in hospitals across the country every day. From combative patients to accidental needle sticks, there are myriad ways in which hospital workers can end up severely injured or sick. The good news is that medical professionals, like other employed adults, have the right to seek workers' compensation after a serious injury at work.
Overexertion is the biggest risk factor to hospital staff
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the single biggest risk factor contributing to injuries of hospital workers is overexertion. Hospital staff may attempt to lift too much, move too fast or otherwise extend themselves past their bodily limits.
Joint injuries are common in hospital workers, as are back injuries. Hospital workers often have to lift, support or move patients. They also have to move machinery and equipment through the facility. As workers age, the risk for pushing themselves too hard increases.
Many take better care of their patients than their own selves. A serious back injury could keep hospital workers unable to perform the duties of their job until they fully recover. Pushing through the back pain can mean worsening conditions and injuries over time.
There are many other forms of risk for hospital workers
Strains, sprains, breaks and tears are only some of the potential injuries that hospital workers could suffer. There is also the potential for a slip-and-fall injury on hospital floors. Considering the fact that patients often lose control of their bladders, bleed or vomit, it is possible for workers to become exposed to dangerous pathogens as well.
Contact with dangerous objects, such as used needles or even emergency defibrillators could result in injuries to staff. There is also the potential risk of injury due to assault by combative patients.
Many patients can pose a risk of bodily injury, from those who come in experiencing mental health issues to those under the influence of narcotics. Aging patients dealing with dementia, as well as those potentially subject to arrest after discharge could also injure staff.
The good news is that when hospital worker ends up hurt on the job, they have the right to seek compensation through workers' compensation insurance. The benefits available include short- and long-term disability, both of which can help while hospital workers are healing. Medical coverage is also available.