How Do I Deal With An On-The-Job Injury?

Nursing carries plenty of physical risks, from back injuries to needle sticks. We take precautions, but sometimes the caregiver is the one who needs medical attention.

If you suffer an on-the-job injury, obtain treatment as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean stopping by employee health on your way out the door after your shift. It means stopping what you’re doing, notifying your supervisor and seeking medical care immediately.

The same rule applies even if the injury doesn’t fully manifest itself until hours later. Say, for instance, you’re helping with a patient transfer when you feel a “tweak” in your neck or back. No harm seems done, though, so you continue on with your shift—only to find yourself flat on your back, unable to move, once you get home.

Again, don’t wait until morning. Seek medical care immediately, and be sure to mention the “tweaking” incident.

You’ll also need to fill out some paperwork, indicating what happened, when, how and who was around. This information serves a dual purpose: First, it provides a written record of your injury, and second, by documenting the circumstances surrounding the injury, you may help prevent other, similar injuries in the future.

If your injury will in any way interfere with your work responsibilities—a weight restriction, for instance—be sure to provide your employer with appropriate documentation. Also, make sure you’re following your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Finally, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Check with your state’s Workers’ Comp Board for more details.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on this important topic in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. There needs to be more articles like this. Nurses are the caregivers and they sometimes are the worst patients. I work in an occupational health clinic and everyday see people, not just nurses, who didn’t report and incident or injury when it happened because they thought it would go away on its own, or they were afraid of disciplinary action if a report was filed. I love when patients come in for and injury and we see them a week later and they are fine. It is far easier to close a case once opened than it is to open one that is reported late or not at all. We all know what the studies show about preventative care, in a way reporting incidents or injuries as soon as they happen are a preventative measure. As an employee who is injured at work, you deserve the proper care. Don’t be your worst enemy and give your company hesitation about whether this injury really happened at work or on your time off which will kill a claim every time.

  2. Take care of yourself, first and foremost. This happened to me and I ended up with a concussion
    I was my best advocate because I knew something was wrong.
    The jobs say they care, but they really do not. It was a bad experience with workmans com, I had to call the state on the, for not providing my earning and treatment in a timely manner.

  3. I had an injury on the job after a fall on a waxed floor with no signs posted. I was transported to the emergency room and CT of head was done, which showed I had a concussion. This put me out of work for awhile. The process I went through from my job was horrible. They acted like i had inflicted this on myself.
    I agree that when you have an injury, stop right away and take CARE OF YOURSELF, no one else will. You are your best advocate.
    I needed to share this because so many nurse just keep doing what they do.
    Adrienne Lee LPN


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