When you decided to become a nurse, you likely did not anticipate all of the different ways that you could suffer injuries on the job. However, while nursing is an important and rewarding field to go into, there are many ways that you can suffer a workplace injury. Whether you suffered a strain when helping to lift or move a patient, a patient got violent with you or even if you slipped and fell, there are steps that you can and should take after your injury to ensure that you get the care and consideration you need and deserve for your struggles. Get to know some of these steps so you can be sure that you handle your injury in the best possible way.
Be Sure You Tell Your Supervisor Immediately
While it is understandable that you may want to push through the pain of an injury and just keep taking care of your patients, you need to let your supervisor know as soon as possible after the injury. This means that at minimum, you should inform them of the incident the same day it occurs.
If you do not tell your supervisor and you do not necessarily have any witnesses to the incident, you run the risk of being completely responsible for all of your medical bills and costs if your injury causes you problems. You could also receive disciplinary action if your injury ends up causing you to miss work because you have no documentation of the injury or that it occurred on the job. It may not be convenient to approach your supervisor about an injury you suffered on your shift, but they need to know, both to protect you and your employer.
Seek Medical Care
Just as you would advise your patients to ask for medical assistance when they suffer an injury, you should do the same. It is easy for medical professionals to brush things off and assume that they are capable of diagnosing themselves and handling everything on their own, but this is not the best course of action when you suffer a workplace injury.
Seek medical care from a physician for your injury as soon as possible after it occurs. Be sure that you get documentation regarding the appointment and the medical advice you received regarding your injury and follow doctor instructions.
File a Workers Compensation Claim
Because you do not know with certainty what the short-term and long-term effects of your nursing injury is, you will want to be sure that you file a worker's compensation claim when your injury occurs. Nursing is a physically demanding job and it is important that you take these legal steps to document your injury and receive compensation for your medical expenses, any lost wages, and the like.
Additionally, if there are long-term effects to your injury such as chronic back pain or the like, having a workers compensation claim on file could help you with any disability benefits you need to seek out in the future. It may also be a good idea to hire a workers compensation attorney, particularly if the hospital or business you work for has a tendency to push back when workers suffer injuries on the job.
Now that you know some of the steps to take after you have suffered an injury on the job as a nurse, you can be sure you handle the situation as well as possible.