Working as a nurse, you’re around patients all the time. You help them get up out of bed, go to the restroom and perform other important tasks, like checking medications and supporting the patient if they are upset or in pain.
In this role, it is common to have to lift and push patients, both movements that could lead to serious injuries to the shoulders. While you might run into minor shoulder issues much of the time, more serious shoulder issues can develop from overuse, wear and tear and direct injuries.
Something doesn’t feel right? It could be an acute injury
Whether you’ve just lifted a heavy patient or you fell working in the ward, you need to know that any sudden pain or dysfunction in the shoulder could be a sign of an acute injury. The paid can be severe, but in some cases, there is little pain at all.
Acute injuries can include all kinds of wounds and damage, such as:
- Pulled muscles
- Broken bones
- Subluxations or dislocations
- Torn rotator cuffs
- Nerve injuries
- Tendon injuries
- Separations of the shoulder
In the case that you have any of these injuries, you may need immediate care to help treat the injury, minimize the risk of further damage and manage your pain.
Overuse injuries are common in health care
It’s more likely that you will have signs of overuse injuries, like inflammation and muscle strain, from your daily work. Frozen shoulder, for example, may be limiting your ability to move your shoulder. Tendinitis may make lifting patients more difficult than normal.
You deserve support if you are suffering from pain or dysfunction of the shoulder
No matter what the situation is, you need to know that you can seek care for the injuries and may be able to get workers’ compensation to cover your medical care, time off for treatment and lost wages.
Your role is important, but taking time off to address this medical condition could help you heal and get back to work after you begin feeling better. If you wait to address a shoulder injury, there is a risk that it could continue to worsen.