Nurses Suffer Serious Injuries, Yet No One Wants to Help Them

June 8, 2016

Nursing is a profession of the heart: you spend your days surrounded by people who are sick and injured, who are showing you the worst of themselves, who need your help to eat, walk, use the bathroom and bathe – and yet every day, nurses across the country wake up and do it all over again because they love what they do.

So when nurses are injured because of the physicality of their work or in the course of doing their duties, it seems only fair that the very hospitals they serve would protect them and care for them. According to a four-part series by NPR, however, it seems the very opposite is happening. Nurses are injured every single day at work, and they are struggling to obtain the workers’ compensation they need to get well.

The findings

The Bureau of Labor Statistics created a table of the “Number, incidence rate, and median days away from work for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work and musculoskeletal disorders by selected worker occupation and ownership” for 2013 data, the most recent available. Of the top ten occupations, four were in the health profession: orderlies (#1), nursing assistants (#3), personal care aids (#7) and registered nurses (#8).

This may be because nurses, aides and orderlies do the physical lifting of patients during the course of their work. Without the proper tools or safety equipment to help them with patients who need to be moved in beds, wheelchairs or throughout the hospital, nurses are at risk of developing repetitive stress injuries and spinal injuries, both of which take a long time to heal – if they heal at all. Even using the proper techniques for lifting may not be able to protect them.

Additional problems

Nurses are also at risk because when hospitals cut funding, they often cut nurses. This means fewer nurses to do the same amount of work, leading to more physical labor for longer hours. This puts nurses at risk of:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Physical strain from lifting
  • Slips and falls
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Dehydration

At Larry Pitt & Associates, we look out for the nurses who look out for us. We have helped nurses throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia hospitals and health care facilities get the help they need to recover. If you are a nurse who was hurt at work, you have the right to collect workers’ compensation. We can help you through the process.

For more information, please fill out our contact form or call 888.PITT.LAW.