Why Nursing is Such a Physically and Mentally Challenging Profession
Nursing professionals are an integral part of the American healthcare delivery system. Today, our nurses are recognized as heroes amid the coronavirus pandemic and are celebrated frontline workers. Physical and mental stresses are often byproducts of their working experiences. Below are some challenges our nursing clients have faced that have led to short and long-term disability claims.
Carrying heavy loads. One of the most obvious stressors is that nurses are constantly upright, standing and on the move. Patients’ needs vary and are predictably unpredictable. For example, a bedridden patient could awaken in an agitated state and need immediate care in or out of the bed.
Furthermore, nurses are needed to help lift, turn, push and move patients and equipment on a regular basis. One incorrect movement or motion can cause major physical injury to the nurse, as well as a patient or co-worker.
Performing in risky conditions. Media coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how crucial sanitary conditions are in health facilities. Professionals have advocated for workplaces that are safe as well as clean. This means everything from clean floors to adequate medical equipment and waste disposal. Without proper and regular maintenance, nurses are highly susceptible to contracting illnesses, slips and falls, and even needlesticks.
Nurses almost never “just clock out.” A nurse’s work typically does not stop when their shift ends. Oftentimes, hours of paperwork and digital documentation are necessary to ensure that the accurate patient chart notes were taken and that the next shift of health providers can seamlessly resume care.
Emotional strain. Proper training readies nurses and healthcare professionals to perform their duties during the most stressful and heartbreaking situations. Even if they encounter death, disease and injuries on a regular basis, nurses have to mentally process these events once they are distanced from the situation. In many cases, prolonged and repetitive exposure can lead to depression, and post-traumatic stress, as we are seeing in response to COVID-19.
Additionally, bonds can be made with patients and their loved ones and those connections also add a lot of weight and burden to the clinical details for which nurses are responsible. It is difficult to imagine being a nurse day in and day out in a critical care or intensive care unit, and what it’s like to spend long hours caring for people who are terminally sick.
The flipside of that same coin is that patients and their loved ones may be demanding or have unrealistic expectations about recovery and treatment, and may vent their own frustration on nursing staff. Nurses must absorb these people’s pain as well, which can add to their daily stress and mental nervous issues.
Malpractice Claims. Nurses are also constantly at risk of being named in a malpractice lawsuit. All it takes is one faulty note or accidental movement, and they along with their peers could be accused of wrongdoing. A claim could be made even if they follow all facility and state medical protocols. The chances of such scenarios continues to increase as the number of patients in the healthcare system continues to rise.
Knowing that every move is under scrutiny — by doctors, administrators and patients, our nurses are managing very difficult daily mental stressors.
The award-winning individual and nationally renowned group long-term disability attorneys at DarrasLaw offer free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation to determine whether your individual or group policy entitles you to short and/or long-term disability benefits. If you are suffering from any type of mental or physical injury or illness that prevents you from performing the important duties of your occupation, or your insurance carrier says you can do another occupation, call us today at (800) 898-7299 or contact us online.