If I’m a healthcare professional and hurt my back at work, do I have more say in my medical care?

All employees in the healthcare industry are entitled to workers’ comp. Healthcare workers, including nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and other medical professionals who provide medical care to the public, have some of the highest numbers of work-related injuries. 

Hospital work in particular can be surprisingly hazardous 

According to OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work are higher in hospitals than in construction and manufacturing. Hazards that can cause injuries to healthcare workers can include: 

  • Lifting patients
  • Handling needles 
  • Spills from bodily fluids and other liquids 
  • Violence from agitated or combative patients or visitors
Common injuries to healthcare workers

Considering the hazards above, common injuries to nurses, aides, technicians and other healthcare workers  include:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Cuts and punctures
  • Multiple trauma
  • Fractures
  • Soreness/pain
  • Bruises
Nurses and Back Injuries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses experience back and musculoskeletal injuries on the job at a rate greater than back injuries for all occupations. Activities performed by nurses and other healthcare professionals that lead to back injuries include the following:

  • Rotating and moving patients in bed
  • Helping patients in and out of bed
  • Lifting patients
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Carrying medical devices
  • Moving patients for procedures
If you work in healthcare, do you have more control over your care?

You may want to have more control and “say” in how your care is delivered if you have a background in healthcare. Once your workers’ compensation claim is accepted by the insurance company, and you are receiving disability benefits, you do have to attend your medical appointments to avoid a motion to suspend your benefits. However, if you believe that your treating doctor’s interests may not align with yours or that you do not agree with, or even like, your doctor, you may be able to switch doctors or get a second opinion. Also, if your treating doctor is suggesting you have surgery, and you don’t want it, you can certainly get another opinion or opt to wait and instead treat conservatively for longer (using physical therapy, medication, injections, etc.).

Feel free to call my Atlanta law office to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer about your options and recommendations for getting quality medical care while on workers’ comp in Georgia.

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