Anyone working in the nursing profession risks becoming sick or injured. Spending time away from the job because of medical issues could put a nurse in a financial bind. Some may wonder if Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws cover nurses. The answer depends on the nurse’s employment status.
Nursing and workers’ compensation
Eligibility for workers’ compensation centers on employment status. Independent contractors/self-employed persons cannot file for workers’ comp. However, nurses who work for employers that follow through with requirements to cover their employees under workers’ compensation insurance could file a claim if they get hurt.
Nurses could get hurt on the job in many ways, with slip-and-fall accidents being common. Healthcare environments can be chaotic so tripping or bumping into objects is a real risk. The same with punctures, as a distraction could result in a healthcare worker suffering an injury from a sharp object.
Nurses might lift and move patients, along with heavy objects, routinely. One mistake could lead to a back injury. Sometimes, the injuries are not acute, and cumulative problems lead to back issues requiring treatment.
Although some workplace injuries are unavoidable, some arise when the employer or the employee could have decreased the chances of any harm. Keeping a work area free of slip-and-fall hazards could help, and so might receiving the proper safety training. Specific environments could be so dangerous that extensive safety training might be the only way to avoid an accident. For example, nurses may require training to handle dangerous or violent patients.
Filing for benefits
An injured nurse may file a workers’ compensation claim. Quickly reporting the injury to an employer and undergoing the necessary medical evaluation might help the process. Delays could lead to denials.
Appealing the denial may be a worker’s next step to receiving the benefits. Overcoming the denial with sufficient proof might be the way to address the initial adverse response.