Workplace Danger: CNAs Injured More Than Any Other Profession
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Certified Nursing Aides (CNAs) suffer the most injuries of any profession; surprisingly, more than police officers, correctional officers, and repair workers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nurses and nursing assistants accounted for nearly 60 percent of all identified injuries recorded by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from 2012-2014.
What is causing so many CNA injuries?
CNAs suffer musculoskeletal injuries at triple the rate of construction laborers. Musculoskeletal injuries affect muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage and spinal discs, and are often caused by heavy lifting, repetitive motion, repositioning and transferring patients.These are routine, every-day tasks for CNAs.These necessary tasks injure a nursing assistant over time, causing strain in the upper and lower back, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, feet and hands.
One of the most frequent causes of injury among CNAs is lifting a patient or resident. When the patient is lifted, there is sudden exertion which may lead the CNA to an immediate injury.
“The bottom line is, there’s no safe way to lift a patient manually,” states William Marras, director of The Ohio State University’s Spine Research Institute. “The magnitude of these forces that are on your spine is so large that the best body mechanics in the world are not going to keep you from getting a back problem.”
Specific examples of CNA injuries include
- Tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendon.
- Lateral epicondylitis, an inflammation of the tendons on the outside of the elbow.
- Medial epicondylitis, an inflammation of the tendon, similar to tennis elbow, except that it originates near the humerus at the elbow joint.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome, may be caused by repetitive use of the hand and wrists.
- De Quervain syndrome, an injury involving two tendons that control the movement of the thumb.
- Tension neck syndrome is defined as pain, soreness or stiffness in the region of the neck and shoulders.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome involves the upper limbs and can cause sharp or burning pain in the arms and hands.
A safety survey conducted by the The American Nurse’s Association in 2011 found that nearly all nurses have worked while having musculoskeletal pain and 80 percent said it happened frequently.
How to avoid further injuries
It is essential to pay attention to symptoms before they develop into a more significant, more painful problem. Many back injuries result after smaller injuries. You may not feel any pain at all and then suddenly one single movement triggers acute pain. Injuries in the medical field are not only caused by one incident. Some will develop injuries such as carpal tunnel, back pain, shoulder pain and other conditions from the repetitive movements over time.
Early signs warning that serious damage may lie ahead
- Sharp or dull pain in any joint
- Aching back or neck
- Unusual tightness or stiffness
- Hot, inflamed feeling in a specific area of the body
- Shooting or stabbing pain in arms or legs
- Unusual muscle weakness and fatigue
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 35,000 injuries severe enough to have to miss work are reported by nursing employees every year.
CNA Injury: What to do if you are injured on the job
Report your injury immediately to your supervisor thoroughly in writing, including your full name, date and time of when your injury occurred. Consult with a seasoned personal injury attorney who will be able to provide you next steps for you to be able to move forward.
CNA Injury: How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
Our skilled attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm are prepared to fight for your rights if you are injured due to non-subscriber employer negligence in a variety of professional fields. We are available to you 24/7, contact us today for a free consultation.
- Written by Jill Fowler