Hospitals are where people go to get better after they suffer a significant injury or developing concerning medical conditions. However, hospitals are also a place where many people suffer injuries, especially those that work there.
Federal statistics about workplace injuries show that hospitals and similar medical environments can be even more dangerous for workers than construction sites. What makes working in a hospital so risky?
The constant demand for patient support
Taking care of people who cannot feed themselves or move themselves is not easy work. It may require physical strain.
Sometimes, especially when a medical employee does not feel like they have time to obtain specialized equipment or help, assisting a patient might mean that they overexert themselves, possibly causing a strain, sprain or back injury. Overexertion and bodily reaction are responsible for approximately half of all lost-time injuries in hospital settings.
The risk of a fall
Falls are a major source of injury in many industries. While a nurse or physician’s assistant won’t fall from a significant elevation like a construction worker would, they could potentially slip and fall on the slick surfaces of the hospital floors while they rush to respond to a patient call or emergency. Falls can easily lead to broken bones and other noteworthy medical consequences, especially for medical professionals over the age of 55.
The possibility of violence
People in the hospital may be under the influence of mind-clouding pain medication. They could be in need of care while in the custody of law enforcement. There could be patients with dementia, those withdrawing from an addictive substance and even those with lifelong psychiatric disorders that make them paranoid and volatile. Violence causes roughly 10% of all lost-time injuries in hospital settings.
The life-saving equipment and tools
Anything from a syringe to an external defibrillation device could be a danger to someone working in a medical environment. Not only could the tools and medications themselves be dangerous, but so could the bodily fluids of the patients in their care.
Medical professionals who get hurt on the job will often require workers’ compensation benefits to support themselves after an injury. Knowing what causes often contribute to claims can help you know when to seek benefits and how to stay a little safer on the job.