Few people are aware of the on-the-job hazards faced by emergency medical services workers. Long hours can leave workers feeling depleted. The physical demands of the job can take a toll. While EMS workers can take some precautions, work-related injuries are sometimes unavoidable. Here are some of the more common hazards faced by EMS workers.
The need to lift and carry patients, sometimes over great distances, can play havoc with your back. While stretchers and utilizing proper lifting techniques can help minimize your risk of injury, sometimes your body simply can’t take the repeated strain. Bending over patients can also result in back injuries. It’s important to be aware of pain in your back. You shouldn’t attempt to just “work through it.” Doing so can make a bad injury much worse.
Exposure to pathogens
You are exposed to all manner of diseases and pathogen-containing bodily fluids over the course of a shift. Much of the risk can be mitigated by wearing protective equipment. However, supply shortages or the need to respond quickly to an emergent situation could leave you exposed. Needle sticks could also result in the transmission of disease. It’s important to know that workers’ compensation does not just cover physical injuries. It’s also available for those who contract occupational illnesses.
Whether due to fear, drugs or just having violent tendencies, combative patients are a constant hazard in the field. If you are ever injured by a patient who physically attacks you, you should report the incident to your supervisor and get the medical treatment you need.
Workers’ compensation can cover the costs of your medical care and provide you with a percentage of your wages if you are unable to work for a period. A skilled legal professional can help guide you through this process and ensure you submit the strongest possible claim for your work-related injuries.