When you make your living working in health care, you face numerous on-the-job risks, and you are at a particularly high risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries. These injuries are a common result of performing heavy lifting or moving patients, and some such injuries may have a major impact on your quality of life. 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, your risk of suffering this type of injury may be even higher when you work as a nursing assistant. In 2017, nursing assistants experienced the second-highest number of musculoskeletal injuries than workers in any profession. That year, these injuries caused nursing assistants to miss 18,090 days of work. 

Health care jobs that carry a high risk 

Nursing assistants are not the only health care workers facing elevated injury risks. Other health care jobs that often require patient handling, which is often a contributing factor to injuries, include those held by home health care workers. 

Physical therapists, radiologists and sonographers are also at a high risk of musculoskeletal injuries. So, too, are long-term care workers, such as those who provide skilled or non-skilled nursing care for others. If you earn your living as an acute care worker in a hospital, clinic or outpatient surgical center, you should also take steps to prevent injuries and protect yourself while lifting. 

Additional contributing factors 

Part of the reason health care workers face high risks of lifting-related injuries may be due to the fact that Americans have become more obese over time. The fact that baby boomer populations have grown older may also contribute to injury risks because it means that more adults need assistance due to diminished mobility. Find more on this topic on our webpage.