It is no secret that nursing requires a great of physical work. Because of the nature of the job, many nurses, more than most other industries, have to contend with being injured at work. In California and elsewhere, nurses are banning together to help pass regulations that can help them avoid being injured on the job; and therefore losing the ability to do a job they have trained years for and love to do.
The number one reason nurses are experiencing more injuries than in the past is because patients are getting heavier in this country. Because this leads to an increase in musculoskeletal injuries, the American Nurses Association is trying to get a federal law passed to enforce standards that will help nurses avoid injury. Despite efforts, these safety standards have not passed yet.
Nurses in California in particular have testified about the need for safe practices to be implemented. One measure they are fighting for is the addition of lift equipment to help them with overweight patients and team lift standards. Aside from patients who weigh more, the California nurses seeking legislation point to patients who fall and grab them as a last resort, causing more injury to nurses.
Anytime a nurse is injured, they may not be able to return to nursing as their injury may become more aggravated. In California and elsewhere, nurses have rights and benefits if they are injured at work. However, any regulations that may help them avoid or lessen the chance of being injured at work may help them to continue working. Workers' compensation laws can help those who are injured at work so they can still provide for their families if their ability to work becomes limited.
Source: ABC News, Nurses Prone to Injury With Heavier Patients, Sydney Lupkin, Sept. 26, 2013