Working in the medical field may have been a lifelong goal because you want to help people. Even if you don’t directly provide medical care, a kind, smiling face and reception or the diligent efforts of someone in the billing department can make all the difference for a patient.
Whether you answer phone calls and set schedules all day or transcribe records of medical appointments, you probably spend the majority of your day typing, using a mouse or gripping a phone. While those activities don’t put you at risk for a catastrophic injury, they can still lead to a repetitive stress injury.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a noteworthy concern for those working in a modern medical environment.
Why is carpal tunnel syndrome a concern?
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome won’t be that obvious at first. You may notice intermittent numbness or possibly tingling in your fingers, hand, wrist or forearm. Some people notice pain rather than tingling or numbness.
Eventually, those physical sensations will increase in intensity, as will the frequency that you experience them. They will take longer to subside after you experience them and will flare up more easily. They may even start to affect your overall strength and range of motion.
Workers who develop carpal tunnel from using a computer all day will only get worse unless their employer helps them. They may need to change their job responsibilities, take breaks for rest/stretching or use assistive technology to avoid the stress on their hands. Left untreated, the symptoms of carpal tunnel can progress to a point where they drastically limit someone’s workplace functions.
Workers’ compensation benefits will cover repetitive stress injuries
You don’t have to fall down the stairs or infect yourself through an accidental needle-stick to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits as a medical employee. You only need to have a medical condition acquired from work that affects your daily life or work performance.
Workers’ compensation should cover your medical treatment, which might range from physical therapy to surgery. It can also help cover your costs of living expenses if you need a leave of absence to recover. Recognizing that carpal tunnel is a work-acquired medical condition that may require benefits can help you protect your health and your financial future.