Q&A: What should healthcare facilities do to accommodate injured or disabled nurses?

September 1, 2009

Responding to RN's June 2009 cover story, RNs offer opinions on how hospitals should assist, or employ in different capacities, nurses who become injured or disabled on the job.

HOSPITALS ARE RESPONSIBLE for the injuries sustained by nurses while they are performing their job duties. The facilities should be held accountable to these nurses to continue providing healthcare, benefits, and disability payments. If hospitals are held accountable for these expenses, they will do a better job at protecting the nurses from injury by implementing higher nurse-to-patient ratios or providing equipment that protects the nurses from injuries.

Ronda Schafer, RN, BSN
Sparrow Hospital
Lansing, MI

THE HOSPITAL WHERE I WORK is very good at providing work at an acceptable level for your injury or disability. They recognize that your mind is as important as your physical ability and is of value to them.

I CURRENTLY WORK for a center for independent living, and this facility is one of the best places to work if you are a nurse or employee with a disability. Hats off to Disabled Citizens Alliance for Independence in Viburnum, MO.

Jeanne L. Usher, RN
Steelville, MO

EVERY JOB HAS state guidelines for job-related injuries. The employer's workers compensation rating increases for all employee injuries. So, if an employer wants to keep costs under control, it needs to look at the work environment. Typically, employers don't assess the work environment for injuries, since they have had no training in this by safety personnel.

Carla Buckingham, RN, BSN
Coralville, IA

WHY DOES A PROFESSION that does everything it can to keep our patients active and working not do more to help nurses continue to work if they are disabled? There are less strenuous areas these nurses can work in, but often these places are refused to them. Wake up, people, these are good resources going to waste. Turn nursing GREEN!

Betty Doreen Shoe, RN
Fresenius Medical Care
Albemarle, NC

I DO BELIEVE the hospital should do what is necessary to help rehabilitate the nurses.

S. Mutzberg, RN
Methodist Hospitals
Memphis, TN

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