Working in health care can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Sadly, it is also a dangerous one. Oklahoma health care workers are more likely to suffer an injury or serious illness on the job than those in any other industry.

If you work in a hospital, residential facility, private physician’s office or anywhere in the health care field, you may not realize the insufficient safety standards in your workplace. Few people do until they suffer the consequences.

Violence is a problem

Over 654,000 medical workers suffer injuries every year, meaning you are more likely to experience workplace violence than in other industries. Of all the workplace violence episodes that occur in the United States and require time off work, 45 percent occur in health care.

For those of you already working in a health care facility, this probably is not surprising. Up to 75 percent of people in the health care field reported suffering either verbal or physical abuse from patients or their families. Unfortunately, most nurses, doctors and orderlies are under the impression that putting up with such treatment is just another aspect of the field.

Violence is not the only thing to blame

Working in the medical industry is a physically taxing job, meaning other injuries are common, too. These can include:

  • Back injuries
  • Exposure to blood or other bodily fluids
  • Needle sticks
  • Smoke inhalation

Although you already know that working in this industry has its own risks, you may be like most other nurses and doctors who do not fully understand the dangers of the job. For instance, lifting and moving patients who cannot physically move themselves is taught as routine, when it is actually quite dangerous. Special equipment can help this process, but it is still extremely taxing on the body.

What can I do after any injury?

Current safety standards in most health care facilities are substandard, leaving you and your co-workers at risk for serious injury. If you suffered an injury, you will likely need specialized medical treatment and time off work to recover.

Oklahoma victims who suffer injuries while on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can be essential for your recovery, as they help address the financial strain of related medical care and lost wages.