Nursing is one of the most important professions. The Virginia Nurses Association reports that there are more than 118,000 registered nurses in the Commonwealth—and many more are needed in the coming years. Nursing is a valuable career, but nurses do face work-related safety risks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there were 78,740 workplace injuries reported among nurses nationwide in 2020. Here, our Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer provides a comprehensive overview of the workplace risks that nurses face.
The Most Common Work Injuries and Illnesses Suffered By Nurses
As a nurse, you contribute so much to our healthcare system. Indeed, nurses are the all-too-often underappreciated backbone of patient care in the United States. Yet, unfortunately, nurses too often face real safety risks in the workplace. Here are some of the most common injuries and illnesses:
- Sprains and Strains, including Back Injuries: Nurses in Virginia frequently engage in physically demanding tasks, such as lifting and transferring patients. These job duties can contribute to sprains, strains, and other serious injuries, including chronic back issues.
- Needlestick Injuries: Daily exposure to needles and sharp instruments places nurses at risk of cuts and puncture wounds. Alarmingly, these injuries can lead to serious infections.
- Slip/Trip and Falls: These common workplace accidents can occur due to wet floors, clutter, or simply the fast-paced nature of the nursing environment.
- Workplace Assaults: Nurses are often on the front lines of patient care, making them vulnerable to physical and verbal abuse from patients or family members
- Stress and Burnout: Nurses often work in high-stress environments, managing critical care situations and emotional interactions with patients and families.
The Steps to Take After Being Hurt On the Job as a Nurse in Virginia
If you or your family member is a nurse in Virginia who has suffered any type of work-related injury or illness, it is imperative that you are able to get the proper care. Here is a four step guide for nurses who were hurt on the job in Virginia:
- Get Medical Treatment for Yourself: As a nurse, you are used to putting the needs of other people before yourself—but when you are hurt on the job, you need to prioritize your health above all. Get immediate medical care. You must do so to be eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia.
- Report Your Injury or Illness to Your Employer: Under Virginia law, all work-related injuries and illnesses should be reported by an employee to their employer. Failure to report your injury/illness in a timely manner could undermine your ability to get workers’ comp.
- File a Workers’ Compensation Claim: Nurses in Virginia who are employees are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance coverage from their employer. Following an incident, be sure to file a claim for workers’ comp right away.
- Consult With a Virginia Workers’ Comp Lawyer: If you are confused about how to handle the workers’ comp claims process, you are certainly not alone. A Virginia workers’ comp lawyer with experience representing nurses can protect your rights and interests.
Get Help From a Top-Tier Virginia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
At Injured Workers’ Law Firm, our Virginia workers’ comp lawyer is a passionate, experienced advocate for injured workers. Are you a nurse who was hurt on the job? We can help. Call us at (804) 755-7755 or connect with us online to set up your free, no strings attached case review. From our Richmond law office, we represent nurses in workers’ comp claims throughout Virginia.