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Why are nurses at such high risk for work injuries?

If you are a nurse in the Los Angeles area, then you are already aware of what a rewarding but difficult job it can be. You may not be aware, however, that those who work in the nursing profession run a particularly high risk of being injured on the job. According to NPR, more than 35,000 injuries to nurses are reported annually and the main culprit is clear: lifting and moving heavy patients.

When hospital patients need to be relocated, it falls on nurses, orderlies and nursing assistants to do the job. Given the rate of obesity in this country, patients are often heavier today than they were in years past. This makes nursing professionals particularly susceptible to back injuries. Shoulder and other musculoskeletal injuries are also quite common.

Given how important medical centers are to society and the logistical difficulty of running them, addressing injuries to nurses is not on the top of many hospital administrators’ lists. Some hospitals have addressed the problem by installing machinery to assist with the lifting of patients. Those facilities report that injuries to their nursing staff have decreased dramatically as a result. However, even facilities that have mechanical lifts cannot always guarantee that they will be accessible when nurses need them or that staff members have been trained properly on their use.

Since back and shoulder injuries are often serious and require lengthy recovery times, some nurses who are hurt in the workplace are unable to return to their jobs. If you have been injured on the job, medical insurance and workers’ compensation may cover much of your expenses but they may not truly cover everything that you have lost. This is provided as general information on this topic and is not intended as legal advice.

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