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Chronic pain: Harming nurses and other medical professionals

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

Did you know that nurses, midwives and students in these fields are at a greater risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders that could lead to them living in chronic pain? For many of these people, repetitive strain injuries are the culprit behind potentially years of chronic pain and suffering.

It is unfortunate that nurses often suffer injuries that may build into a chronic condition. When these injuries are severe enough, they may have to leave their jobs or seek support to go through physical rehabilitation or occupational therapy to manage their pain and underlying health conditions.

Chronic pain: A pain that won’t go away

According to the National Center for Complementary Integrative Health, chronic pain is pain that lasts around three to six months, though this definition varies. The latest National Health Interview Survey found that around 11.2% of all American adults dealt with pain daily over the course of the last three months.

Nurses, in particular, are at a higher risk of back injuries that may lead to chronic pain. This is because they are typically expected to lift around 20 patients into bed per shift. They may also need to transfer five to 10 to their beds or chairs. Depending on the staffing of a hospital or facility, this number could actually be much higher.

What can nurses, midwives and other medical professionals do to reduce the risk of injuries and chronic pain?

One thing to do is to place a greater focus on good ergonomics and better equipment. For example, using team lifts to help with patients or bringing in medical equipment to assist with lifts may reduce injury from lifting patients many times each shift. Providing better training on lifting techniques and educating the medical staff on proper patient handling may also help.

What should you do if you’re dealing with daily pain from your job?

If you are dealing with daily pain and you believe that your job is the reason, then you need to talk to your employer about seeking workers’ compensation. You may be able to use your workers’ compensation benefits to seek medical care and treatments to help reduce your pain and help you return to work.