Even though many precautions are taken, nursing is a physical occupation susceptible to workplace injury. From needle sticks to throwing out your shoulder, sometimes the nurse ends up being the one who needs medical attention.
If you do suffer an on the job injury, it’s important to notify your supervisor right away and seek appropriate care immediately. Don’t wait until you’re headed out the door at the end of your shift. No matter how small the injury, being hurt not only has an effect on you, but on the quality of patient care you’re providing. If you don’t notice the injury until after you’re home, don’t wait until the following day to assess the pain. Call a doctor or seek medical care right then and be sure to mention what may have caused the injury earlier.
Be sure to fill out the appropriate paperwork and document what happened, how it happened, when, and who was around. Not only will this serve as a written record of injury, it can help prevent similar incidents from happening in your workplace in the future.
If the doctor tells you the injury will interfere with your nursing responsibilities, make sure to provide your employer with written documentation. Make sure to follow the doctor’s instructions to prevent further injury and return to full health as quickly as possible. If the injury is severe enough that it prohibits you from being able to work, check with your state’s Worker’s Compensation Board to find out if you’re eligible for worker’s compensation.
The bottom line is that nursing injuries should not be taken lightly. If you’re hurt on the job, your employer owes it to you to provide you with the medical care you need.
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