When you think about workplace injuries in the health industry, you probably imagine physical therapists or nurses lifting patients and suffering injuries. You might think about emergency room workers getting attacked by unruly patients or being exposed to illnesses.
In the surgical ward, you may find that surgeons are actually at risk of injuries as well. They handle sharp objects, have to bend over to work for many hours on end and perform repetitive movements when they do the same surgeries over and over again.
Back injuries are common among surgeons
Lower back injuries are among the most common for surgeons. This may be a result of how they lean over patients during surgery or assist with lifting or flipping them on the table. While there are protocols to follow, hours of work at a time can quickly lead to muscle strain, pain and dysfunction.
Hand injuries can be career-ending
Hand injuries are another major concern for surgeons. In a study performed by Vanderbilt University that asked 140 surgeons to respond about their injuries in the past, 44% admitted to suffering an injury on the job. Of them, a quarter reported hand injuries.
Hand injuries could happen for multiple reasons ranging from getting entangled in devices used during the surgery to overuse injuries or lacerations from a scalpel.
Hand injuries can be career-ending injuries, especially if the ligaments, tendons or nerves are affected. A surgeon who cannot hold a scalpel steady may need to retire from the profession.
Reporting injuries is a must to preserve your career
If you are a surgeon, you need to think carefully about your goals and to report your injuries as soon as possible. Early treatment is one of the best ways to mitigate damage to your body that could result in career-ending pain or dysfunction if left untreated.
Workers’ compensation should cover medical treatment for you if you’re hurt on the job. Whether you have repetitive stress injuries or are dealing with injuries caused by an unruly patient, it’s your right to ask for fair compensation to get treatment and to protect your livelihood.