Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Monday, March 9, 2015

Nursing Employees At Risk for Workplace Injuries

How Common are Workplace Injuries Among Hospital Staff?

In Pennsylvania, hospital workers are injured on the job every day. In fact, nursing employees seem to suffer more back injuries than construction workers. The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reports more than 35,000 back and other injuries each year, severe enough for nursing employees to miss work.

One nurse at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Chester became one of these statistics when performing her job. Tove Schuster was working the night shift and heard a co-worker call for help because a patient had fallen to the floor. The patient was more than 300 pounds, and a group of nurses lifted the patient as a team.

Schuster did as she was trained, but while getting the patient back into bed, she felt something pop. She finished her shift in pain and drove home. When Schuster awoke the next day, she was unable to walk. Surgery was required to repair a damaged disk in her spine. The hospital acknowledged that Schuster injured her back while lifting that patient. Schuster's career as a floor nurse is over, but she is able to walk and sit without excruciating pain.

The high rate of nursing staff injuries and what hospitals do about it is an ongoing issue. Federal studies have documented how other occupations, such as auto factory workers, have limits as to how much can be lifted. For nursing employees, lifting is part of their everyday duties, with virtually no protections in place.

The law firm of Louis P. Lombardi II & Associates has decades of experience with workers' compensation and personal injury cases. Our Montgomery and Bucks County attorneys are available for free consultations. Contact us today at (888)818-4343 or (610)239-7600.

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