Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) play a vital role in hospitals and nursing homes by providing basic care for patients. Their duties include everything from bathing and feeding patients to transporting them throughout the facility. It is physically demanding work, and the pay is usually just above minimum wage. The conditions nursing assistants work under mean they frequently suffer injuries and may not realize they can file for workers' compensation.

How Nursing Assistants Are Injured on the Job

Nursing Assistant Holding a Patient's Hand

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing assistants had the highest rate of injury on the job for all workers in 2019. Roughly 370 CNAs were injured for every 10,000 full-time equivalency that year. That number is higher than injuries among construction workers, heavy truck drivers, and laborers.

Nursing assistants do some of the most difficult and unpleasant work in a hospital and are exposed to many hazards in their day. Injuries are commonly caused by:

  • Lifting and moving patients. CNAs readjust and turn patients to avoid bedsores, moving them to change bed linens, and transferring them from their beds into wheelchairs. This bending, lifting, and twisting can cause strains and sprains, either as a sudden, acute injury or as a chronic, painful condition.
  • Exposure to biohazards. CNAs are in close contact with patients as they feed them, take care of bedpans and catheter bags, and help them in the bathroom. This puts them at an increased risk of exposure to infectious diseases.
  • Violent attacks. CNAs are often on the front line when it comes to dealing with aggressive and violent patients. They can suffer cuts and bruises, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and more in a violent attack.
  • Stress. CNAs work under tremendous pressure, especially in facilities that are understaffed. This means they are often rushed at their required tasks, prone to slip and falls as they hurry to the next patient, and suffer from stress-related illnesses.

Given that many CNAs are hourly employees and work part-time, they might not know they could be entitled to workers' compensation if they are injured on the job. Unfortunately, these under-appreciated workers may even be discouraged from filing an injury claim and threatened with losing their jobs if they take off any time with an injury. These employer actions are against the law, and you can fight back with help from a workers' comp lawyer.

Monast Law Office Can Help

I have been helping injured workers in Ohio for over 30 years. I count many part-time healthcare workers among my successful cases, including nurses, orderlies, medical assistants, and Certified Nursing Assistants. If you have been injured at work as a CNA, contact my office to learn if I can help. As a worker in Ohio, you are entitled to workers' compensation if you are injured on the job, and we can help you get the benefits you are owed.

 

James Monast
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Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio
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