Working in the health care industry is rewarding, but can be risky. Moving patients is a particularly dangerous task that, although commonplace, is often the cause of serious worker injuries in North Carolina. Moving patients is actually one of the most common causes of work injuries in hospitals.
Nursing assistants are at risk
Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — OSHA — shows that nursing assistants had the second highest number of musculoskeletal disorders among all health care workers in 2017. Data from 2019 also shows that nursing assistants have some of the highest rates of strains, sprains and tears. According to OSHA, many of these injuries are the results of having to:
- Lift patients into beds
- Reposition patients in beds or chairs
- Transfer patients to chairs, bathtubs and other furniture
OSHA believes that this problem will only get worse. On average, patients in America are getting both older and heavier. Assisting older patients who require varying degrees of assistance to complete daily activities can put a tremendous amount of strain on the body, and by the year 2030 20% of the population will be at retirement age or older.
Nursing assistants and other health care workers in North Carolina deserve to be valued and respected in the workplace. This is unfortunately just not possible when one’s physical health and well-being is constantly at risk. Victims who have suffered serious work injuries often need help moving forward with their lives, too. Many find this help through workers’ compensation benefits.