We see many common nursing home injuries in Pennsylvania. It is like a repeated story that you’ve heard over and over again. With the growing elderly population due to aging baby boomers and the fact that Pennsylvania is a retirement friendly state, nursing homes are increasingly busy and that also means that job demands within the nursing homes are becoming more intense. That ultimately leads to a rise in common nursing home work injuries.
Those nursing home work injuries are spread throughout the healthcare work force, from LPNs to CNAs to Maintenance staff, and to food service workers. In all of these positions, the job demands can be physically demanding and stressful.
So what are the common nursing home work injuries?
Repetitive Trauma/Overexertion. OSHA has published recent reports on the susceptibility of health care workers to work injuries and hazards. In fact, latest statistics indicate that healthcare workers are more than seven times more likely to suffer musculoskeletal injuries. These types of injuries can be strain/sprains, slipped discs, disc herniation, ligament and muscle tears, and aggravation of pre-existing conditions that were primarily non-symptomatic prior to the work event. Much of this spurns from handling activities, such as lifting and supporting nursing home patients. I’ve personally had many nursing home employee clients who were injured while manually lifting patients while transferring them in and out of beds or chairs. These type of injuries also frequently occur when an employees attempts to stop a patient from falling. These type of activities frequently lead to back, neck, and shoulder injuries.
Slips and falls. When water or liquids are spilled on the floor of a nursing home or hospital, a healthcare worker can fall on the slick floor. We have seen slip and falls on urine in the bathroom or alongside the beds. These type of injuries cause a wide array of injuries, including back, neck, shoulder, knee, and concussion type injuries.
Understaffing. Unfortunately, here in Central Pennsylvania, this has been an issue. Whether the understaffing comes from lack of work force, employee shift call offs, or purposeful staff reductions, understaffing leads to work injuries. It certainly increases the risk of repetitive trauma injuries to the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and neck. Understaffing leads to injuries because of pressure to work quicker due to staff shortfalls, and due to the fact that many times, support and assistance in repositioning and moving patients simply is not there. That leads to LPNs and CNAs doing a two person job with one person available. You can see how that story will play out.
Patient Violence. Yes, patient violence. Often times, nursing home patient may not be of sound mind. I have had injuries clients who were repeatedly punched, kicked, and bitten by patients. Some of these injuries can be quite serious.
There are many other type of injuries, including needles, infections, occupational diseases, and more. The ones listed above are what we frequently see in our law firm.
What can you do?
If you are a nursing home / health care worker in Central Pennsylvania and have been injured on the job, first report the injury immediately to a supervisor. That is priority number one. Get it documented. Second, seek medical treatment right away. Finally, call us toll free at 1-877-632-4656 or locally at 717-200-HELP to set up a FREE consultation with us. Your workers compensation benefits are much too important to go it alone. You can also contact me directly by email. My contact information is on the right side bar.