Lifting patients can cause serious nursing injuries
Lifting-related injuries are incredibly common in the healthcare industry. Nursing is a dangerous profession because of this, and nurses need to know that they could suffer serious back or spinal cord injuries when they are simply trying to perform the duties of their job.
Statistically, it’s very clear how significant this risk is. The rate of lifting-related injuries is twice as high in a hospital setting as the national average. If you look at nursing homes, the rate for care workers in these settings is three times as high as the national average. In other words, offering this type of care creates significant risks that nurses cannot always avoid.
Why alternatives are hard to find
There are a lot of reasons why these injuries happen and why alternatives can’t be used. One of them is just the cost. There are lift devices that can be used in hospitals if patients are too heavy to be moved by nurses alone, but they cost thousands of dollars, and many healthcare centers simply don’t have them.
Another problem is that helping patients in this way is a core part of being a nurse. A patient may need to be lifted out of bed so that they can go take a shower or get assistance on the way to the restroom. A patient who is developing bedsores may need to be lifted and turned so that the pressure isn’t at the same point. What this means is that nurses may know that the task is too difficult, they may know that they have high injury risks with such a heavy patient, and they may still have to perform that task all the same.
As a result, workers who have suffered serious injuries on the job need to make sure that they are well aware of all of the legal options that they have.