There is a certain amount of risk involved for the medical profession but nurses are front and center when it comes to facing work-related injuries or diseases.
Currently, there is pending legislation which had California nurses and hospitals bitterly locked in argument. The trailblazing bill if passed, would render nurses who suffered various infectious diseases and back and neck injuries in the performance of their jobs as eligible for Worker’s Compensation.
Aside from nurses, their aides, respiratory therapists and others providing patient care at acute care hospitals shall also be covered under this proposed law. If passed, the bill would apply to more than 350,000 workers.
Opponents however, feel that allowing the bill to get passed would create a greater demand from other private workers in risky occupations to ask for the same benefits which would further burden the beleaguered worker’s compensation system.
But the author of the bill, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner feels that the bill is required because of the extraordinary daily exposure of nurses to different infections and to risk of injury from lifting or moving patients.
Under California’s Workers’ Compensation, the employee can enjoy benefits of medical care, compensation for temporary or permanent disability, and death or other benefits for as long as the employee can show that an illness or injury stemmed from their job, regardless of who was at fault.
Nurses however, have a more difficult time with filing a Worker’s Compensation claim, especially those illnesses from infections and would often need a lawyer for their claim to be successful.