Are You a Nurse? How to Take Action When Injured at Your Hospital Job

 

When a health care professional gets hurt on the job and has to file a workers’ compensation claim, the basic rules that apply to every worker remain in place. Having a higher base of medical knowledge can both help and hurt a nurse or other health care professional. Below are some tips that apply to everyone, but are narrowly tailored with nurses and other medical workers in mind.

 

Report All Injuries (Don’t Assume It’s Minor)

 

Nurses are familiar with triage assessments. Assessing the relative severity of an injury is often part of their job, but it can be a big mistake to underestimate the significance of a work injury. It is not uncommon for a worker to assume an injury is minor only learn otherwise in a few days. This is particularly true with back or neck injuries where diagnosis is difficult without advanced radiology testing. Countless workers have had injuries disputed because they put off reporting it to their employer and assumed it would get better over the weekend. If an injury is reported promptly, there is no issue as to whether it happened outside the work environment.

 

Do the Paperwork

 

Telling a supervisor is legally sufficient to provide notice of injury, but following up in writing is also important. Most states have a specific form which to be filed and the employee should contact human resources to make sure the paperwork is being promptly processed to make sure benefits are not delayed.

 

Be a Health Care Advocate

 

Nurses should use their medical knowledge to benefit themselves in their workers’ compensation claim. This means speaking to doctors, nurses and case managers about the injury and, when appropriate, questioning their conclusions. Nurses often have preferences in medical providers and establishing a dialogue with case managers can help them get their preferred doctor. Of course, this should always be done carefully and respectfully.

 

Get a Legal Advocate

 

Consulting a qualified workers’ compensation attorney can provide valuable peace of mind when dealing with an on the job injury. An experienced lawyer will make sure all deadlines are met and handle interactions with the insurance company, allowing injured workers to focus on getting better.

 

Nurses work long, stressful hours providing care for those in need. When they get hurt helping others, they must turn that focus to themselves. The easiest and fastest way to get back to helping others is to follow the steps outlined above.

 

By: Hannah Whittenly

 

Hannah / Freelance Writer
Email: [email protected]

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