Registered nurses are on the front lines in this country every day, putting themselves constantly in harm’s way to provide for their patients. The vigilance required to maintain safety standards for everyone present, especially in the middle of an emergency, is exhausting. Nurses are highly trained professionals, but the job itself is emotionally taxing, and there are many work-related hazards that also put their health at risk.
Nurses face many physical challenges of the job, such as lifting or supporting patients, carrying heavy objects, or bending and lifting. They also risk exposure to harmful chemicals, drugs, diseases, radiation, or needle pricks, and avoiding ever-present workplace hazards is a daily necessity.
Nurses in South New Jersey should know the resources available to them should they fall ill, become injured, or suffer from an occupational disease as a result of the work they do. Understanding their rights to benefits under workers’ compensation and how to receive adequate coverage for workplace injuries is essential for them to get the care they need.
What are the most common nursing injuries?
While there are many risks associated with the profession, the National Safety Council (NSC) has identified the top injuries that nursing professionals experience on the job:
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments
- Overexertion and bodily reaction
- Slips, trips and falls
- Contact with objects or equipment
- Transportation incidents
- Violence or injury from patients or animals
The top three causes are responsible for more than 75% of all injuries or illnesses related to days away from work. Although exposure to harmful substances or environments was at one time lower on the list, the high levels of illness in recent years from viruses and other diseases have made this the leading cause of illnesses.
Overexertion can be from pushing, lifting, or straining one part of the body, while bodily reaction often involves repetitive motion injuries, causing stress or overuse of one part of the body. Musculoskeletal disorders can result from such injuries and affect thousands of medical professionals.
Workers’ compensation in New Jersey
Employees and their dependents may receive workers’ compensation under New Jersey laws that provide benefits for:
- Medical treatments
- Temporary disability
- Permanent partial or total benefits
- Death benefits
Although some insurers can be unresponsive and may delay evaluating claims or even deny them, it is essential to follow the steps and have the necessary documentation ready when filing a claim.