People may not often think of it, but medical care, including nursing, is actually one of the most dangerous professions in the country when it comes to workplace injuries.
For instance, according to government statistics, for every 10,000 full-time nurses, slightly over 104 will suffer an injury that causes them to miss work. The average rate among all other occupations is under 92 injuries per 10,000 employees.
These injuries affect nurses of all ages and levels of experience. In fact, among nurses, the bulk of workplace injuries and illnesses happen among those who have at least 1 year of experience with their current employer.
Likewise, while younger nurses, those in their early 20s, do get injured less frequently relative to their older counterparts, the percentage of injuries is distributed fairly evenly among nurses who are between 35 and 65 years old.
Interestingly, though, nurses seem particularly prone to overexerting themselves, which can result in painful soft tissue injuries and ongoing problems with one’s musculoskeletal system.
Oftentimes, nurses have to help with transporting patients, many of whom can weigh over 200 pounds. One can think of moving a patient as similar to a construction worker having to move around heavy parts or tools. Employers, especially hospitals, need to be especially mindful of their nurses’ safety in this respect.
Nurses also are more likely than those in other occupations to experience violence, with almost 13 per 10,000 nurses suffering work-related injuries because of assault. By contrast, slightly fewer than 4 per 10,000 other workers get hurt because of workplace violence.
Again, nurses are expected to treat patients, many of whom suffer from mental illness, dementia and other issues which make them prone to attacking their caregivers.
For the vast majority of injuries, workers’ compensation benefits are available to nurses who need to have their medical bills covered and their lost income replaced.