While some workplaces, like construction sites, may seem more obviously dangerous than others, workers can sustain injuries in almost any workplace.
Healthcare workers often suffer injuries while caring for the lives of others. Nursing home employees suffer injuries at a higher rate than most other healthcare workers due to their extremely physical jobs.
While much of their jobs involve lifting, moving and physically handling patients with limited mobility, overexertion injuries are extremely common among nursing home workers. Repetitive use injuries, strains and sprains include injuries to muscles, tendons, joints, nerves and spinal discs.
Slip and fall injuries
As in any medical setting, there are many risks for tripping or slipping in a nursing home. Medical equipment, cords for medical equipment, walkers, wheelchairs and bodily fluids on the floor can all lead to an unexpected slip and fall injury. Fractures to hips, wrists and ankles are common in slip and fall accidents.
Healthcare workers are at risk for exposure to illness and disease from accidental needlesticks. Medical protocols have greatly reduced the number of needlesticks reported each year, yet the life-threatening risk remains.
Violence from patients
Nursing home residents often have dementia or other disorders related to aging that can affect their moods and ability to regulate their emotions. Unfortunately, this can lead to violence and aggression.
When injuries like these occur in the workplace, injured workers are often entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits available depend on the extent of the injury and whether or not the injured worker is able to return to work in the same role.