Nurses face numerous dangers in the workplace. Whether the setting is in a clinic, hospital, or a long-term care facility, workplace safety is essential.

Hospital workers experience high rates of injuries and illnesses. If you are a nurse and suffer a work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Lifting injuries

Many nurses care for heavy patients. Lifting and repositioning these types of patients can cause back, neck, and arm strains.

Often, lifting injuries may not become apparent right away. These injuries often worsen over time. If you believe you have suffered a lifting injury, it is important to inform your employer as soon as possible.

Exposure to chemicals and allergens

Cleaning agents and drugs can have harmful effects on nurses who endure repeated exposure. Nurses may also develop allergies to latex over time. Even the simple act of washing your hands or using antibacterial foam can lead to a severe case of dermatitis.

Although these conditions may not be the same as a physical injury, they are still likely to be covered under the workers’ comp system.

Occupational illnesses

Workers’ compensation also covers illnesses contracted in the workplace. Exposure to patients with tuberculosis and other transmittable diseases can cause nurses to fall ill. Needle sticks are also a common source of occupational illness for nurses.

Violent patients

Nurses often must care for violent patients. Some patients may be under the influence while others are suffering from confusion or dementia.

It is important to keep in mind that the workers’ compensation system does not assign blame. When you seek benefits for injuries suffered in a patient-related assault, you are not doing your patient a disservice.

Remember to take care of yourself

You entered the nursing profession because you answered a call to care for others. This desire should not get in the way of caring for yourself. Be honest with your employer about workplace injuries and safety issues and pursue the benefits you deserve when you need them.