The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the challenges that medical professionals face into the spotlight. Prior to this, people outside the field didn’t always think about what doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers have to deal with. However, Florida workers’ compensation lawyers know that medical professionals have always had very risky jobs.
They are routinely exposed to germs and diseases and some have to perform physical tasks that could result in injury. If you’re a healthcare worker, you should be aware of the injuries you’re likely to face so you can seek medical attention as soon as possible and file a workers’ compensation claim if necessary. Here are some of the most common injuries and illnesses in your profession.
Healthcare workers are more likely than the average person to come into contact with harmful bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. They are at risk of contracting a variety of serious illnesses including tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, influenza, and HIV. Getting infected with these diseases can have life-changing consequences. Even though there are several ways in which workers can protect themselves, illness can still occur. When this happens, it is important for employees to seek the benefits which they deserve.
Slip and Fall Injuries
People in any work environment can slip and fall or trip and fall. In hospitals and doctor’s offices, dangers go beyond electrical cords and damaged flooring to include bodily fluids, leaking IV drips, and loose medical tubing. Paramedics also face unfamiliar and unpredictable environments when they respond to calls. Not all falls result in serious injuries but some lead to broken bones, muscle tears, and concussions.
Musculoskeletal disorders affect the nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs, and blood vessels. They include tendonitis, muscle and tendon strain, and ruptured and herniated discs. Healthcare workers, especially nurses, experience these injuries at a rate that’s higher than people working in mining, construction, and manufacturing. This is largely because they have to manually lift and roll patients to transfer or preposition them. Not only are patients getting heavier, but the number of older people who need assistance is rapidly increasing.
Data Entry Injuries
Some medical professionals spend a lot of time on the computer entering data. Completing patient records and drafting reports can be taxing on the body especially when workstations aren’t ergonomically designed. Therefore, many employees develop back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other repetitive strain injuries as a result of their work.
Violence is often associated with law enforcement personnel but healthcare workers can be assaulted at work. Both patients and their relatives can become aggressive because of the stress associated with illness and healthcare settings. Also, some patients may have mental illnesses or substance abuse problems which make their behavior unpredictable. Doctors and nurses may also have to treat violent criminals.
Lacerations and Puncture Wounds
Healthcare workers usually take a variety of precautions to ensure they can carry out their jobs safely. However, there are lots of sharp objects around including needles and surgical instruments. These can lead to puncture wounds and lacerations as well as exposure to blood-borne illnesses.
Individuals working in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices are not typically at risk of burns. However, paramedics often have to rescue people from dangerous situations including fires. Despite their best efforts to stay safe, injuries can occur. Since burn injuries can be debilitating and disfiguring, they should never be taken for granted.
Always Seek Medical Attention If You’re Unwell
If you’re a doctor, nurse, paramedic or any other type of healthcare worker, you need to take work-related illnesses and injuries seriously. It may be difficult to stop working and seek medical attention but you won’t be able to take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.
If you’re experiencing pain or symptoms of an illness, you need to notify your employer and see a doctor. This will allow you to claim workers’ compensation benefits and give yourself time to heal. Workers’ comp benefits will cover your medical expenses and some of your lost wages while you recover.
Get Legal Advice If You Suffer a Workplace Injury
You don’t have to fight for workers’ comp benefits on your own. The Florida workers’ compensation attorneys at Work Injury Rights can help you. We’ll assist you with filing your claim and advocate for you to ensure you get the benefits you deserve under the law. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.