Nurse Assistants have the highest work-related injury rates. The most common injuries are sprains, strains, back and shoulder injuries, punctures, and cuts.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in the US are highly susceptible to work-related injuries. In fact, they have been found to have the highest incidence of work-related injuries and illnesses compared to other occupations, including those in the construction and manufacturing industry. By familiarizing yourself with the typical injuries associated with CNA work, you can take steps to avoid them. Here are some examples of the most frequently occurring injuries among nursing assistants.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are soft-tissue injuries affecting the muscles, ligaments, and joint capsules. CNAs get sprains when they tear their ligaments and joint capsules. Ligaments are fibrous connective tissue that connects muscles to the bones. On the other hand, joint capsules are a type of fibrous connective tissue that attaches to bones.
Strains are a type of injury that occurs when one puts too much pressure on their muscles. This results in the tearing of muscle fibers, which leads to pain and inflammation. CNAs strain their muscles when they lift heavy objects, make repetitive muscle movements, and overreach for objects.
Back and Shoulder Injuries
As the name implies, back injuries are injuries to the back muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. Nursing assistant work requires a lot of heavy lifting since CNAs must frequently lift and reposition patients.
Shoulder injuries are just as common as back injuries because, in most cases, CNAs also have to turn their patients. Rotator cuff tear is the most common type of shoulder injury. It occurs when one tears the rotator cuff, a cluster of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint.
Asking for help while lifting or turning patients can greatly reduce the risk of injury. However, both back and shoulder injuries require prompt medical attention. Failure to which can lead to prolonged nerve irritation and even permanent disability.
Punctures and Cuts
Cuts and punctures are among the most common on-the-job injuries for CNAs. That’s because nursing assistants often use needles, scissors, scalpels, and other sharp instruments. Improper use of these items could lead to puncture and cut wounds.
Most puncture and cut wounds are minor and only require first aid to treat. However, there’s always the likelihood of infection that could lead to more severe health complications.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Take adequate steps to prevent the above injuries while working as a CNA. Avoid over-exerting yourself and ask for help whenever necessary. Also, follow the correct procedure when handling sharp objects to avoid puncturing or cutting yourself.
Injured While Working as a CNA?
Regardless of how careful you are, sometimes, on-the-job injuries are unavoidable. Fortunately, workers’ comp can generally cover your work-related injuries so you can get back to work in no time. Contact the Law Office of James. M. Hoffman to learn more about your legal rights after a work-related injury.
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