Nurses and other hospital workers are at risk for both acute and chronic medical issues. If you cannot work because of your injury, you can seek coverage through the Colorado workers’ compensation program.

Know the signs of common employment-related injuries affecting nurses.

Overexertion and strain injury

According to 2016 information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 45% of injuries to nurses result from repetitive motion or muscle strain. This category includes sprains, strains and tears, most often to the torso and extremities. Lifting and turning heavy patients can result in damage to the back, neck and arm muscles, which is the most common type of strain injury for nurses. Over time, these injuries can cause long-term musculoskeletal disorders that impact the mobility of the joints, tendons, cartilage and muscles affected.

Slips, trips and falls

A quarter of nurse injuries reported by the BLS resulted from slip and fall accidents. Most of these occurred on the hospital or facility floor, on the outdoor premises, and on walkways. Wearing the right shoes and remaining distraction-free while walking can help limit the risk of these dangerous incidents.

Person or animal injury

This category represented just over 12% of nurse injuries in the BLS survey. For example, a nurse who works for a home care agency could have a workers’ compensation claim after a dog bite injury. Occasionally, an aggressive patient may express violence toward a health care worker that results in injury.

Seek medical care right away when you experience an urgent workplace-related injury. When you have health problems that you think stem from your job, such as back and neck pain, tell your employer immediately. In this case, you can select from one of two medical providers your company designates.

Your employer must notify their workers’ compensation insurance provider within 10 days of learning of your injury. The insurance company must either accept or deny your claim within 20 days. If you receive a denial, you can request a hearing within 45 days.