Study: Nurses, Clinicians, Vulnerable to Workplace Injuries

While we all rely on the invaluable experience and healing hands of nurses and clinicians when we have been ill or injured, a new study reveals that these health care workers are highly vulnerable to workplace injuries.
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Nurture by Steelcase recently released its 2013 State of Clinicians and Nurses report, which relied on more than 300 online surveys conducted during the month of August by Business Research Group. Respondents were required to have at least one year of experience with patient care, and included RNS, LPNs, nursing managers, occupational therapists and physical therapists in the U.S.

What they found was that more than one-third of all nurses and clinicians had reported suffering at least one on-the-job injury in the last year. Another 25 percent had to modify their activity over the course of at least one shift in response to that injury.

Our Spartanburg work injury lawyers know that this is a very high rate, and is predominantly due to the physical nature and demands of the job.

Almost half (47 percent) of those surveyed indicated that they were required to perform patient transfers at least one time throughout the week. This was the task that accounted for one-third of all the workplace injuries that nurses and clinicians reported suffering.

Despite this, health care providers reported worrying more about their patients’ safety than their own.

Another issue is that health care workers today are being asked to do more than ever before, often with fewer resources and less co-worker support due to lowered staffing levels.

About half of the workers responded that their work environment did not support the prevention of discomfort, injury or pain. About a quarter believed that updated equipment would help to reduce their risk of on-the-job injury or illness.

Last year, the New York Times reported on how nurses as a group, which make up the largest number of health care providers, are among the most at-risk employees for injury and illness. This is especially true for those who toil in a hospital setting.

Most are required to work at least three grueling 12-hour shifts every week. In a given year, researchers have concluded that almost half of nurses will struggle with some type of back pain – acute and chronic.

A November 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that in the health care industry, musculoskeletal disorders made up 42 percent of cases in which workers missed at least a day of work. These disorders were experienced at a rate of 55 for every 10,000 full-time health care workers – among the highest in the country. The rate was 56 percent higher than what is reported by all other private industries – second only to the transportation and warehousing industries.

The bureau also reported that the incidence rate for violence and other injuries (15 incidents per 10,000 full-time workers) was triple the average rate for all private industry workers.

If you are a health care worker who has been injured on the job, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Clinicians And Nurses Are Susceptible To Work Injuries, Yet Risk Of Patient Injury Is A Greater Fear Finds New Survey From Nurture, Nov. 18, 2013, News Release, Nurture.com

More Blog Entries:
New Resources to Protect Workers From Hazardous Chemicals, Dec. 5, 2013, Spartanburg Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog

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