Patient Lifting Injuries
Nursing is not an easy job. Whether you are a Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant, or a Home Health Aid, providing care involves complicated medical decisions that need trained professionals. But, many people don’t know that nursing is a physical job. Providing care involves helping physically limited patients move. Inevitably, this causes nursing injuries.Patient Lifting Injuries
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), nursing assistants missed over 18,000 days of work due to musculoskeletal injuries. That is a rate that is over 4 times higher than the average worker. Many of these injuries are a direct result of moving patients.
Lifting a patient involves a combination of two things. First, people are heavy. Even an average sized person weighs more than what most people can safely lift. Second, and most importantly, lifting a patient involves awkward positioning. This combination is what causes the increased risk of injury for nurses and healthcare workers.How Do Patient Lifting Injuries Happen?
There’s no limit to how these injuries happen. But, there are certain situations where they happen most often:
- Transferring Between Bed and Chair: Nurses often help patients safely get out of bed and ensure that sitting down does not cause the patient to fall.
- Transferring Between Chair and Toilet: Being able to use a toilet is one of the most important ways that patients retain normalcy while in a hospital or nursing home. However, helping a patient get to and from the bathroom can put the healthcare worker at serious risk for injury.
- Repositioning a Patient: Whether it’s in a chair or on a bed, helping a patient shift positions can be dangerous. However, it can be necessary to prevent further injury to the patient, including to prevent bed sores.
Obviously, these injuries can happen anywhere that care is being delivered to a patient. This includes:
- Acute Care: Patients are often lifted in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and surgical centers
- Long-Term Care: This includes nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation facilities, and any setting that provides nursing care.
- Patients Home: many home health aids help patients move when they visit them at home.
- Out-Patient Medical Services: Many health care workers provide care that involves properly positioning a patient. This includes physical therapy, chiropractors, and radiologists.
While strains and sprains are the most common, serious injuries can result from lifting a patient. This includes disc herniations, rotator cuff tears, and other injuries to neck, back, and shoulders. Unfortunately, some of these more serious injuries are not obvious at first. Doctors, patients, and insurance companies often assume that an injury is minor when there is an underlying tear or herniation that hasn’t been found yet. Then, when an injury doesn’t get better, the insurance company and it’s lawyer argues that the worker is making it up.
You need a Workers Compensation attorney who understands that every injury is different. You also need a lawyer who understands that not every “minor” injury follows the normal timeline. An injury that can keep one person out of work for a week can cause someone else to remain out of work for months.Workers Compensation Benefits
If you were injured while lifting a patient, you are likely entitled to Workers Compensation. You are entitled to lost wages and total disability for time that you are unable to work. If you have to work fewer hours or in a less stressful job, you might be entitled to compensation to cover the difference in your earnings through partial disability. Workers compensation also will pay for your medical expenses.
Unfortunately, Patient Lifting Injuries often cause insurers to question how it happened. These injuries often happen without another co-worker as a witness. They also involve injuries that get worse as time passes. This gives the insurance company an excuse to deny your claim.Experienced Lowell Workers Compensation Lawyers
At Marcotte Law Firm, our experienced Lowell Workers Compensation Lawyers know how to get you the benefits you deserve. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing injured workers, and the attorney you speak to at Marcotte Law Firm will understand what you’re going through. Your lawyer won’t let the insurance company bully you into taking less.
If you’ve been injured, call the Lowell attorneys at Marcotte Law Firm for a free consultation.