If you work as a nurse, you probably went into medicine because you want to take care of or help other people. Nurses provide hands-on, direct care that can make a major impact on patients. Medical careers like nursing offer not just excellent stability and pay but also the satisfaction that comes from a job that directly influences somebody’s well-being and quality of life.
Unfortunately, the nursing professionals caring for patients often put themselves at risk by doing so. The heavy work of caring for, moving, repositioning and transporting patients can result in a sudden injury to your back. A single improper lift could result in severe pain and an inability to continue working.
Even if you avoid a single traumatic injury, you may develop repetitive motion injuries from constantly moving and lifting other people. That could mean that eventually you are the one who needs medical care rather than being the one who provides it.
More than 35,000 nurses hurt their backs each year
According to research on injuries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 35,000 nurses hurt their backs or suffer similar musculoskeletal injuries each year. Assisting with patient mobility is the single greatest risk factor for back injuries in nurses.
Those who are extremely ill or injured cannot move themselves, and they depend on the strength and tenderness of medical staff to help them get out of bed, dress themselves or go to the bathroom. Even nurses who have help every time they lift a patient and who always adhere to best practices regarding how they lift can still cause themselves repetitive motion injuries over the course of their career.
Workers’ compensation benefits protect injured nurses
As someone who works in the medical field, you probably already know that ignoring your symptoms won’t necessarily make them go away. Instead, if you try to work with a back injury, you could make it worse. Thankfully, Colorado workers’ compensation can help you during your recovery.
Medical benefits from workers’ compensation will cover 100% of the care you need for a workplace injury. Whether you need surgery or physical therapy, you can get the medical attention you need without worrying about co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. Missing out on many weeks of work while your back heals may not seem like an ideal choice, but temporary disability benefits from workers’ compensation can help replace a substantial portion of your lost wages.
In the event that your injury is so severe that you cannot return to work, you may qualify for permanent disability. For those who could work some jobs but who may not be able to fulfill the obligations of the nursing profession anymore, permanent partial disability benefits can help close the gap between what they once earned and what they can currently earn after their injury.