Why nurses are at such an elevated risk of overexertion injuries – II

Sep 01 2016

In our last post, we began discussing how those men and women who choose to enter the hospital workforce out of a genuine desire to help patients are unfortunately at an elevated risk of suffering overexertion injuries.

We also discussed how this increased risk of overexertion injuries among nurses and other hospital workers could be largely attributed to manual patient handling, and how many hospitals have implemented Safe Patient Handling and Mobility programs that provide staff with specialized equipment to help move patients and keep them healthy.

We’ll continue this discussion in today’s post, examining — and more importantly — debunking some of the common myths associated with overexertion injuries among nurses and hospital workers.

If a hospital worker is physically fit, they are far less likely to suffer an injury.

While you might be tempted to believe that those individuals in good or even peak physical condition would somehow be less susceptible to overexertion injuries, experts indicate there is a dearth of information to support this claim.

In fact, they indicate that these in-shape workers might actually be more at risk given that their colleagues are perhaps more inclined to call them for assistance with lifting patients.

The concerns regarding manual patient handling are overblown as hospital workers aren’t injured every time they lift a patient.

Experts indicate that while manually lifting and/or moving patients won’t always result in overt injuries, it can result in micro-injuries, especially to the spine. Indeed, when micro-injuries are sustained regularly and cumulatively, a debilitating injury is inevitable.

Smaller patients can be lifted manually without much concern or the use of specialized equipment.

As discussed above, it’s possible for hospital workers to suffer micro-injuries while lifting patients of any size over time, eventually resulting in serious injury. In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health advises manually lifting no more than 35 pounds even under ideal ergonomic circumstances.

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your options if you have suffered any type of bodily trauma on the job and your claim for work comp benefits has been denied.