As a nurse, you have seen your share of workplace injuries. Your patients may come from all industries with a variety of complaints from cuts and broken bones to back injuries and more. As you do your best to make them comfortable, you may know that the injuries some of them suffer will prevent them from returning to their jobs. Perhaps you worry about this possibility for yourself.
Your job places you in harm's way every day, and not always in the way some would anticipate. When you suffer an injury, you may expect the same care and attention you willingly give your patients. However, your employer or the insurance company responsible for your workers' compensation benefits may not have such a generous bedside manner. Some hazards you face on the job are not unique to your profession. However, this does not make them less important or less painful when you are the victim of an injury.
Where are you most vulnerable?
Stress occurs in many occupations. However, the stress you experience may be unique because you are dealing with matters of life and death and often thankless situations. You may be short-staffed, working back-to-back shifts on little sleep. Working a particularly traumatic case may spike your blood pressure or result in other physical reactions related to PTSD. Unfortunately, stress is not the only risk you take as a nurse. Other injuries that are common to your profession include:
- Back injuries and other musculoskeletal damage from lifting patients
- Injuries from slipping, tripping and falling
- Cuts or punctures from needles and blades
- Exposure to dangerous pathogens, either bloodborne or airborne
- Exposure to radiation, chemicals and other toxins
A growing threat for nurses and other health care workers is assault. Patients who may suffer from mental illness, the side effects of medication or the aggression that accompanies the use of some drugs may react violently, even toward those who are trying to help them. You may not always be able to predict these outbursts or protect yourself from harm.
You may take every precaution against these and other injuries, but you cannot always control your environment or the people you encounter. You may not even be able to control the results of your request for workers' compensation when you suffer an injury. This is why many nurses in Georgia reach out for support from an experienced attorney who can handle the interactions with the insurer and advocate for the best interests of the injured.