As a health care patient support worker, you probably are no stranger to the dangers of working in your field. You may usually take preventative measures to avoid occupational musculoskeletal injuries. But now that you have a back injury from lifting patients, you may feel unsure of what to do next.
Workers’ compensation does not just provide wage replacement. It also provides access to medical care to help you heal and become whole from the trauma while protecting your employment status. Depending on the extent of your back injuries, you may receive enough compensation to replace a portion of your wages and cover your medical expenses. To mitigate the impact of patient lifting injuries, review the following pointers.
See a doctor
You need to see a medical physician for injury identification and treatment. Not all occupational back injuries result in minor/temporary strains; nerve compression, disc herniation, torn ligaments, spinal cord damage, etc. are common workplace lifting injuries.
Trauma that stems from lifting and moving patients can significantly affect your health and well-being. If you can still work or you plan to return to work, the trauma could compromise your ability to safely and comfortably perform your job. Without proper medical care, injuries that you sustain from moving patients can become chronic or more severe.
Your employer must provide certain benefits for workers who become hurt at work. To qualify, you must report your accident or injuries to your employer’s human resources department to start the claims process for workers’ compensation benefits.
The risk of accidents in the workplace hinges on many factors, including worker age, overall health and workplace hazards. Occupational musculoskeletal injuries are often preventable with proper lifting practices, equipment, skill and safety protocols. However, the workers’ compensation system does not consider fault.