Safety Standards Needed: Injured Nurses and Obese Patients

Posted on Oct 01, 2013

Nurses in North Carolina follow different safety standards than any other state. This is because there are no uniform safety guidelines imposed by the federal government. However, the American Nurses Association drafted standards for hospitals across the United States in 2012 and thousands of hospitals have already participated.

The new safety guidelines for nurses across the country are a big step forward. At a time in American history where obesity rates are at their highest, overweight patients are causing big problems for nurses. Back injuries and muscle strains are just a few of the common ailments suffered by nurses who are required to move patients of all sizes as part of their job. When it comes to safe patient handling, only 10 states have enacted specific laws address the matter. North Carolina is not one of them.

Since safety guidelines for nurses are not the same nationally, nurses in North Carolina who are hurt at work will likely not have the same protection as a nurse in any other state. The protection is not better or worse, simply unequal. Until the federal government creates and passes standards for nurses, those injured at work will benefit from a workers' compensation attorney who can explain how North Carolina's benefits apply to injuries or illnesses acquired through employment. Learn more about an Asheville nurse who won her back injury claim after it was denied.

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