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4 risks nurses face in the health care industry

It's no secret that nurses face a number of health issues after working in the field. They lift patients, work with biological hazards and come into contact with many diseases and illnesses. The hazards in the workplace are often mitigated, but that doesn't mean that you can't get hurt on the job. If you are, then you may be entitled to workers' compensation or be able to go through a personal injury lawsuit if you are not covered by workers' compensation.

There are dozens of issues nurses face, but four common injuries include overexertion, slip, trip and fall accidents, violence and exposure to substances.

1. Overexertion

Health care workers commit to long hours. Some work multiple shifts in a row, getting sleep only on breaks between patients. These individuals work many hours of hard, manual labor. Some work on precise surgeries and others focus on moving patients and completing rounds. In any case, long hours are stressful on the body and can lead to exhaustion. Overexerting the body leads to many injuries from mental exhaustion to physical ailments like torn ligaments or tendons.

2. Slipping, tripping and falling

Slipping, tripping and falling is something that can usually be avoided, but hazards can occur anywhere. Whether it's a carpet that has pulled up on the sides or a broken piece of flooring that slides under your feet, the risk for a fall is real. If you fall, you could hit your head and suffer a traumatic brain injury. You could also break bones, suffer contusions or face other injuries.

3. Violence against nurses

Patients, coworkers and families all come into contact with nurses. Sometimes, these interactions are not pleasant. Nurses may face violence from patients who are confused or aggressive, and families upset about an outcome could be violent, too. Even coworkers could be violent or cause harm.

4. Exposure to substances

Biological hazards are common in hospitals and health care facilities. Whether it's blood or other biological hazards, nurses working with needles and other medical tools are exposed. It's possible to catch an illness by accidentally sticking yourself with a needle or being exposed to these hazards.

If you are hurt in the workplace due to these risks, it's important to know your rights. You should be able to seek workers' compensation or go through a personal injury lawsuit, depending on your specific circumstances. You deserve compensation if you are hurt on the job.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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