Doctors, nurses, nursing aides and nursing home workers — they all run the risk of suffering injuries at work at a rate greater than construction workers, people in manufacturing jobs or loggers.
Does that surprise you? It probably doesn’t surprise anybody actually in the medial field. There are a number of factors that combine daily to make occupations in medicine far more dangerous than outsiders might expect.
According to recent estimates, here are some of the most common injuries that medical workers experience regularly:
- About 60% of the injuries are related to overexertion. This can include back injuries from lifting a patient, shoulder injuries while moving heavy equipment into place and other similar problems.
- Almost 20% of workers are injured due to trips, slips and falls. Contrary to popular belief, a fall from a standing position (or while walking) can actually cause serious damage. All it takes to cause permanent back issues or disability is landing the wrong way on your spine or hitting your head on the way down.
- Nearly 10% of health care workers are injured due to violence either from patients or their patients’ family members. While some of the violence is intentional — such as when a patient gets angry after being refused a narcotic — other incidents involve patients who are psychotic or suffering from dementia.
Some of the remaining injuries include things like punctures (needle stick injuries) and lacerations (accidental injury with a scalpel or scissors).
If you work in the medical field, an injury to your neck, back or shoulder can leave you sidelined for months while you try to recover. If you’re the victim of patient violence, you may struggle to cope with psychological distress. To protect your livelihood, make sure that you find out all of your legal options. Remember, good self-care includes looking out for your future.