In the demanding field of healthcare, nursing assistants play a frontline role in tending to patients. However, the physically demanding nature of their work can lead to injuries, particularly those related to lifting.
When nursing assistants experience these types of workplace injuries, it is important to know one’s options for receiving compensation.
Understanding the risks
Nursing assistants often find themselves lifting and moving patients as part of their daily tasks. While these actions are essential for patient care, they also pose a risk of injury to the nursing assistant. Back strains, muscle sprains and other lifting-related injuries are not uncommon in this profession.
In many cases, nursing assistants may be eligible for workers’ compensation as part of their employment benefits. Workers’ compensation provides financial assistance to employees who suffer work-related injuries. When a nursing assistant sustains an injury while lifting a patient, they can receive medical coverage and wage replacement.
Reporting the injury
To secure compensation, nursing assistants should report the lifting-related injury promptly. Reporting procedures may vary between healthcare facilities. Generally, the injured individual must inform their supervisor or human resources department. Failing to report the injury promptly may jeopardize the eligibility for compensation.
Documenting the incident
Injured nursing assistants should provide details about the circumstances leading to the incident. These include the date, time and any contributing factors. This documentation helps establish a clear connection between the injury and the work-related lifting activity.
Seeking medical attention
Following a lifting-related injury, the top priority should be to seek immediate medical attention. A professional assessment not only ensures proper treatment but also serves as additional documentation for the compensation claim. It is essential to follow the prescribed treatment plan to facilitate a smooth recovery process.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 96,480 nonfatal injury and illness cases involving days away from work among nursing assistants in 2020. While lifting injuries certainly do not account for all of these incidents, it is important to remember that they do fall within the scope of a nursing assistant’s compensation benefits.