Healthcare workers and medical support staff provide invaluable care to ourselves, family members, friends and others within our communities. But these workers, who work tirelessly to ensure patients receive the care they need, often suffer on the job injuries and illnesses.
The hazards of the healthcare field
Certain industries are inherently dangerous, with workers facing bodily hazards daily. While hospitals and other medical facilities take steps to minimize employee injuries, workers still suffer injuries at an alarming rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), workers in the healthcare industry suffer more nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses than nearly any other industry.
Healthcare workers frequently suffer injuries including:
- Sprains and strains: These often occur in the wrists, shoulders and lower back as the result of lifting patients or moving heavy equipment.
- Infections and illnesses: Healthcare workers are exposed to airborne and bloodborne pathogens, mucus and other bodily fluids from sick patients.
- Slips and falls: Workers can suffer bruising, head injuries, broken bones and lacerations resulting from falling on slick or wet floors.
- Pricks and lacerations: Healthcare workers can suffer needle pricks and cuts from sharp medical instruments.
- Assaults: Tensions run high in the medical field and healthcare workers are often assaulted by patients or a patient’s loved ones.
Resources available after an injury
Following a workplace injury or illness, healthcare workers may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation benefits allow you to receive compensation for medical expenses. You can also receive partial lost wages, based on a percentage of your average weekly income, if your injury or illness prevents you from working while you recover.
An on the job injury should not cause you financial hardship. To learn more about the claim process and eligibility, get guidance from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.