Unfortunately, nursing is a contact sport, and it is quite easy to get hurt on the job. From needle sticks to crippling back pain, nurses get hurt at an alarming rate.
Facilities are aware of this, and sometimes, the evil side of their corporate personas can come out with an injured nurse. To protect yourself, you need to know exactly what to do should you find yourself hurt on the job.
Report it immediately
You need to report the problem to your supervisor. Even if you only felt a tweak in your back, you should report it.
Yes, it seems like it is making a mountain out of a molehill, but your molehill could actually turn into a mountain. Backs are funny, and they can spiral out of control.
Any injury, no matter how slight, needs to be reported, because you will be asked why you didn’t report it immediately. There is no excuse for it, and it will make your case weaker.
You have to protect yourself, and reporting is the only way. Take the time to report no matter how stupid you may feel. You may end up saving yourself a lot of heartache in the end.
Jump through all the hoops
If you do end up seriously hurting yourself at work, you will have a great deal of hoops to jump through. First, you will have to do paperwork in triplicate.
Second, you will need to see their doctor and pass their physicals. If they say that you need to go to the emergency room, then you should go.
In fact, if you are hurting, you should go to the emergency room anyway. Documentation is as important for your injuries as they are for your patient’s.
Make sure that you don’t miss anything, and that you find out everything you need to fill out for workmen’s comp. Missing something vital could be the difference between getting the help you need and suffering without any compensation at all.
Don’t be intimidated
Facilities don’t want to pay workmen’s comp, and they will try their best to get you back to work before you are ready. Resist their insistence that you return.
As soon as you return, it will be nearly impossible to go back on leave when you find you aren’t actually fit for work. You know your body, and you need to make sure that you are ready for work.
It doesn’t suit them to pay someone who isn’t working, so they will threaten you if you don’t come back when they say. You may need a lawyer to fight them should they become particularly aggressive in this regard.
In the end, be careful when you hurt yourself at work. It is a difficult position to be in, and you need to take care of yourself first. If you don’t, you may find yourself in an untenable situation for you and your family.