People frequently talk about hospitals as though they are relatively safe environments. After all, there are skilled medical professionals on hand in a hospital, ready to act for the benefit of patients in an emergency. The average person may feel safer at a hospital, but workers at hospitals still end up hurt.
The professionals working in hospitals actually face quite a bit of risk just for doing their jobs. Some research indicates that hospital workers have more job injury risk than almost any other private sector employees. A significant amount of workplace safety risk comes directly from the need to provide care for patients.
Why patient care is so dangerous
When looking at an analysis of hospital worker injuries, the top job safety concern is over-exertion or bodily reaction. Someone trying to lift a patient could throw out their back or injure their knee while doing so. Average patient weights trending upward in recent years have certainly contributed to the risk hospital workers face of over-exertion. So does the need to move quickly in an emergency. Rushing to care for someone in an emergency could lead to a slip and fall, which is one of the top workplace safety concerns for those in medicine.
Additionally, hospital workers may come into contact with dangerous equipment or substances. Providing hands-on care might mean an accidental needle stick or contact with a scalpel. Artificial external defibrillation devices could also cause serious injury to a hospital worker. Finally, patient violence is also a safety concern for those working in the medical profession.
Any of these safety issues could result in someone being unable to work for some time and left in need of treatment. Understanding the risks inherent in providing patient care may help medical workers feel more comfortable with filing a claim for workers’ compensation coverage.