Pin Pricks and Aching Backs: When Nursing Injuries Become Serious

The American Nursing Association (ANA) has reported that nurses face a high risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders. The ANA also learned that a nationwide survey of more than 700 nurses found that approximately 64 percent stated that needlestick injuries and blood borne infections were a major concern to them. Fifty-five percent also believed that their workplace safety climate has negatively impacted their personal safety.

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Pin Pricks and Aching Backs

In instances where healthcare professionals such as nurses are injured on the job, they should consult with a Chicago personal injury attorney.

Hospitals fail to protect nurses from becoming patients

According to various surveys by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), they found that there are more than 35,000 back and other injuries among nurses each year. The injuries were severe enough to miss work.

In fact, tens of thousands of nursing employees suffer from debilitating injuries every year. This comes mainly as a result of simply doing their main jobs: lifting and moving patients.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that nearly half of all healthcare workers will experience at least one work-related musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) during their careers. Back injuries among this nursing group are even higher than those found in construction or manufacturing workers. There are 90 injuries per 10,000 full-time hospital workers. Construction workers had 70 injuries per 10,000 while manufacturing personnel had 43 per 10,000 employees.

To add insult to injury, many healthcare facilities fail to to protect their nursing employees. Some now offer new equipment for lifting patients.

For nurses who have sustained back injuries at work, a Chicago personal injury attorney can help if the back injuries are a result of lifting, long periods of standing, bending, working in awkward positions, reaching or dealing with heavy equipment.

Pin pricks a prickly matter

According to a 2006 American Nurses Association (ANA) report, 64 percent of nurses experienced accidental needle sticks while working. In a 2008 survey, 74 percent suffered contaminated needle sticks.

Then in a OSHA report, an estimated 800,000 needlesticks occur in the U.S per year. Of these, two percent, or 16,000, are contaminated with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). In addition, needlesticks accounted for up to 80 percent of accidental blood exposures. Hospital nurses are most frequently those involved.

Back and needlestick injuries shouldn’t be a given. Nurses hurt on the job can contact a Chicago personal injury attorney for assistance.