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Health care worker injuries common throughout nation

There is likely a perception throughout the state of North Carolina that construction workers, or others who work in industrial settings, are the most prone to workplace injuries. The reality however, is while the injuries suffered in those types of workplaces are often very traumatic they are not the most common. Believe it or not, health care workers are the most prone to suffering an injury in the course of completing tasks related to their job.

A recent report issued by the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation supports this. It found that compared to the private sector in which the illness and injury rate is 4.2 per 100 full-time workers, for health care workers the rate is 5.6. The report does not go into the reasons attributed for the higher injury and illness rate.

Health care workers who are injured or ill in the workplace are a problem not just for those workers, but for the individuals on the receiving end of their treatment as well. When such a worker is facing workplace conditions that lead to illness or injury, it is difficult for that worker to focus on the patient before him or her. This could ultimately lead to injuries to a patient as well.

As is the case in other occupations, when a health care worker is injured while at work, that individual may be able to seek benefits while he or she recovers, via a workers' compensation claim. The nature and duration of such benefits when granted, varies depending on the severity of the injury and the amount of time necessary for recovery.

Source: Fierce Healthcare, "Hospital workplace safety means better patient care," Alicia Caramenico, March 19, 2013

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