Nurses throughout New York City don’t have it easy. They put their lives and health on the line to meet countless patient needs. Often, they lack the support and resources needed to perform their job duties efficiently. The combination of inadequate staffing and dangerous work conditions is why many nurses in our city are finally speaking out.
Earlier this year, registered nurses from 13 different hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the five boroughs rallied to protest poor working conditions and issues with staffing, according to CBS New York. Their efforts paid off. Last month, an agreement was made, and now the city’s hospital officials will hire an additional 1,450 nurses to meet staffing needs.
Common job-related risks faced by NYC nurses
Even if city officials hire an adequate number of staff, New York City nurses face a slew of job-related dangers that could result in injury, including:
- Physical strain: Due to long hours on their feet, repetitive lifting, bending, and twisting, nurses are at a high risk of either sustaining on-the-job injuries or developing musculoskeletal disorders. Researchers at Michigan State University surveyed 410 nurses at two hospitals. The study found that emotional factors, such as stress and anger, put nurses at a heightened risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. One leading cause of stress among nurses is lack of support, in part, due to limited staffing.
- Long hours and night shifts: Chronic fatigue from working long hours, night shifts, or alternating shifts pose a danger to nurses. Fatigue often plays a role in workplace accidents. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), those who work night shifts have a 30 percent greater chance of being injured on the job than those who work day shifts.
- Violence: Assaults and threats of physical violence are common risks nurses face. Incidents of violence often occur when patients are disoriented (either from an illness or medication), under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or are involved in street violence or domestic violence. In some cases, friends and relatives of patients are responsible for violence against nurses.
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals and substances: According to the American Nurses Association, nurses can sustain injuries or become ill due to exposure to dangerous drugs, cleaning products, sterilants, and disinfectants.
- Slips, trips, and falls: Nurses spend long hours on their feet and must quickly move from one place to another. Wet floors, wires, and debris put nurses at risk of slips, trips, and falls.
Contact a workers’ comp attorney to learn more.
If you’re a nurse who sustained an injury or became ill due to your job conditions, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This would cover all needed medical procedures (X-rays, surgery, etc.), prescription medication, physical therapy, and partial wage reimbursement.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP Attorneys At Law will discuss the details of your claim and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement. Contact us today to get started.