What Should Nurses and Medical Professionals Do if They Sustain Serious Back and Spine Injuries at Work?
Healthcare workers are highly susceptible to spine injuries due to the physical demands of their job. They frequently lift and move patients, which can result in musculoskeletal disorders and spinal injuries. These injuries are a serious concern, as they can lead to chronic pain and long-term disabilities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses and CNAs suffer from a high rate of back and spinal injuries. These injuries are caused by repetitive bending, uncomfortable postures, and lifting and moving patients. Analysis conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that lower back pain (LBP) “is even more [common] among healthcare professionals and nurses. Nursing is an occupation most at risk from LBP, with rates exceeding heavy industry workforces. Furthermore, the lifetime prevalence of low back pain in nurses is higher than in the general population, with reports as high as 90%,” and recurrence rates of more than 70%.
To prevent spine injuries, healthcare facilities should provide proper training and equipment to their staff. This includes utilizing lifting equipment, maintaining proper body mechanics, and promoting teamwork when moving patients. Nurses and other medical professionals must also be aware of the risks associated with lifting and moving patients and report any back pain or discomfort immediately to prevent further injury.
If you suffer a spine or back injury while on the job as an RN,CNA, EMS member, or other medical professional, you may be eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Tennessee’s state-run workers’ compensation system provides benefits to workers who are injured while performing their job duties. These benefits can help with medical treatment costs and lost wages. However, they do not provide compensation for emotional distress or pain and suffering.
Which healthcare workers are most likely to sustain back and spine injuries?
The risks to nurses are clear, but they are not the only ones who are at risk. Other medical professionals who can suffer serious back and spine trauma include:
- EMS and paramedics
- Nursing home staff and orderlies
- ER doctors and nurses
- Physical and occupational therapists
What benefits can healthcare workers seek through workers’ compensation?
There are three types of workers’ compensation benefits available in Tennessee.
Medical care benefits
Medical care benefits are an essential aspect of workers’ compensation insurance, as they cover the costs of medical treatment necessary for an employee’s recovery from a work-related injury or illness. Such benefits include doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgery, medications, rehabilitation, and other necessary medical expenses. These costs are usually paid for directly to the healthcare provider by the workers’ compensation insurer, so employees receive the medical care they need to recover from their injuries or illnesses.
Wage loss replacement
In Tennessee, partial wage replacement benefits for workers’ compensation are calculated as two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, up to a state-set maximum. For example, if a nurse’s average weekly wage is $1,500, their partial wage replacement benefit would be $1,000 per week, as two-thirds of their average weekly wage.
These temporary benefits are designed to help the injured employee maintain a reasonable standard of living while they are unable to work. It is important to note that partial wage replacement benefits are only available if the employee’s injury prevents them from performing their job duties. If the employee is able to work in a different capacity, their benefits may be reduced accordingly.
In cases where a healthcare worker has sustained permanent injuries, he or she may qualify for permanent disability benefits.
If an employee dies in a work-related accident, or as a result of injuries sustained in the course of his or her job duties, the surviving dependents may be entitled to death benefits. These benefits should cover the cost of a funeral as well as a certain percentage of lost wages.
Is workers’ compensation my only option if I have sustained a workplace injury in the medical profession?
As a medical professional in Chattanooga, the risk of suffering a spine injury is high due to the nature of the job. If you sustain a work-related injury, it is essential to know your legal options and protect your rights. Seeking the guidance of a personal injury attorney who is well-versed in Tennessee workers’ compensation laws can help you understand your entitlements and navigate the legal process effectively. With their support, you can maximize your chances of receiving the medical care and benefits you deserve and focus on recovering from your injury.
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we understand the challenges that healthcare workers face and the importance of seeking legal representation. Our team of experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys can provide you with the guidance and support you need to recover the compensation you deserve.
If you are ineligible to file for workers’ compensation claim, or if your injuries were the result of third-party negligence (such as a defective medical device) you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek additional compensation for losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life. An experienced attorney can help you explore your legal options and ensure that your rights are protected.
If you have sustained an injury on the job, it is crucial to take action and contact a trusted personal injury attorney at Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law. Contact us today for your free consultation. We’re based in Chattanooga, and serve Clevland, TN, North Georgia, and the surrounding region.
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