Nurses and nursing assistants choose their profession largely out of the desire to help people. Unfortunately, the desire to help patients sometimes leads nurses to suffer a work-related injury. One of the most common workplace injuries nurses and nursing assistants suffer, especially in bariatric departments, is a back injury, sustained from lifting patients.
Workplace lifting injuries for nurses
While nurses and nursing assistants are using mechanical patient lifts more than ever before, they still suffer workplace lifting injuries more than other healthcare workers because of:
- moving patients
- helping patients get to the toilet
- weighing patients
About 12% of nurses report leaving the profession because of back pain, sustained from patient lifting. For those nurses and nursing assistants who work in bariatric surgery departments, they face a higher risk of sustaining a workplace lifting injury because they work with obese patients. The more a patient weighs, the more force is required to move the patient. All it takes in bariatric care is one bad lift to cause a serious injury.
Suffering a workplace lifting injury
If you suffer a lifting injury as a nurse or nursing assistant in bariatric care, you need to report your injury to your employer immediately. You will need to file a workers’ compensation claim. You also need to seek medical treatment immediately. You even may need to have your injury evaluated by a doctor approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Many injured workers don’t seek help from a workers’ compensation attorney until they have problems collecting workers’ comp benefits or feel pressured to return to work by their employers. That’s not always the best plan. If you suffered a serious lifting injury and will need significant time off to recover, you should consult a workers’ compensation attorney sooner rather than later. You can avoid problems collecting your workers’ compensation benefits with an attorney’s help.
When you suffer a lifting injury as a nurse or nursing assistant, you shouldn’t have to worry about paying your medical bills or missing work. Instead, you need to take the time to fully recover, so you are stronger and can better prevent another lifting injury in the future.