Healthcare workers are responsible for providing medical care and treatment to individuals, often in very challenging environments. As a result of their daily activities, they often face risks that can cause injuries — both physical and mental.
Healthcare workers risk suffering from various physical injuries due to the nature of their work. Common injuries include cuts and lacerations, musculoskeletal pain, and repetitive strain injuries.
Cuts and lacerations can occur when using sharp instruments like needles, scalpels, or scissors, as well as through contact with contaminated surfaces. Musculoskeletal pain is common in healthcare workers due to the time spent standing or performing repetitive tasks such as transferring patients and lifting heavy objects, which can result in back, neck, and shoulder injuries. Repetitive strain injuries occur when a worker performs a task repeatedly, such as typing on a computer keyboard or using tweezers to remove sutures, which can cause pain and inflammation in the hands or wrists.
Healthcare workers also risk suffering from slips, trips, and falls due to wet floors or cluttered workspaces. To prevent injury, healthcare workers should use proper safety equipment when possible, practice good body mechanics such as lifting with their legs and not their backs and take frequent breaks to minimize the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
Mental injuries are a common issue for healthcare workers, who frequently deal with stressful situations and difficult patients. Healthcare workers may experience common mental injuries including:
- Compassion fatigue;
- Secondary trauma;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
- Anxiety; and,
- Vicarious trauma.
Burnout is one of the most common issues healthcare workers experience, characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and ineffectiveness. Compassion fatigue, which can lead to burnout, is a feeling of emotional exhaustion from constantly caring for others. Secondary trauma occurs when caregivers are exposed to traumatic stories or events experienced by another person and have similar effects on the caregiver as if they had experienced it themselves. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing a traumatic event and may include flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance of certain situations.
Depression is another mental injury that healthcare workers can experience, which includes feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, and changes in appetite. Anxiety is characterized by fear or worries about future events or activities, physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, and difficulty concentrating. Lastly, vicarious trauma occurs when healthcare workers are exposed to traumatic events or stories over an extended period of time, resulting in similar reactions as if they experienced the trauma themselves.
The Sexton Law Firm is Here For Healthcare Workers
The Sexton Law Firm is here to help healthcare workers who face workplace injuries. We understand the complexities involved in dealing with injuries within the medical industry and will do everything possible so you receive the compensation you deserve. We can provide the assistance you need if you are seeking medical compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, or any other damages related to your injury. Contact us online or by phone to learn more. (619) 202-8976