Back and neck injuries at work are some of the most debilitating. For a nurse, suffering from a neck injury may mean having to take a long time off to get surgery or go through physical therapy. For some, it may mean the end of a career.
Often, nurses end up with neck injuries that are the result of repeated minor injuries over time. Chronic injuries like these develop over time and will need time to recover. Nursing is notoriously hard on the neck and back as nurses have to lift patients, carry heavy items, and regularly pull and push objects or patients in a medical setting. Unfortunately, over time, these actions can lead to injuries that cause pain and dysfunction.
Nurses can take steps to minimize the risk of injury
A few things that nurses can do to minimize the risk of getting hurt on the job include:
- Regularly exercising the strengthen the muscles used each day. Exercises to strengthen and support the neck and back are great choices as a preventative measure.
- Asking for help or using machinery to lift patients or objects that are beyond their safe limits.
- Using good body mechanics and ergonomic lifting options.
- Allowing your patients to try to move on their own when practical.
- Reporting any injury you suffer as soon as it occurs, so you can get treatment before the injury becomes chronic.
Of course, there is the potential for injury even if you do all these things. It’s a hazard of the job that you have to be around ill patients and those who need your support. If you get hurt, you should get the opportunity to seek medical support and to have that support covered.
Can you get workers’ compensation for neck injuries at work?
Yes, usually. Even if you had not reported past injuries and have chronic pain now, you can look into seeking workers’ compensation to cover your medical care and any lost wages you may face. Neck and back injuries are common in nursing, so your injuries are not something that the workers’ compensation insurance provider will be unfamiliar with dealing with.