Today in the chart

How to Protect Your Rights if Assaulted or Injured At Work

If you do not stay out for the allotted period, you could forfeit any benefits you could have received.

We cannot normalize and accept that violence in the healthcare setting is the norm. We know that nurses are resilient and sometimes feel guilty about missing work, even if they have been injured. Unfortunately, our strength and commitment to work allow organizations not to implement mandated policies. If this has ever happened to you and you did not know what to do, please know that it is not your fault. Your leadership should have walked you through the process, but since they did not, I am here to let you know how things should be handled. 

If you are injured at work, you need to pull up the policy and see the first steps that your organization requires. Hospital employees must often be seen in the ER, and the next steps are dictated based on the assessment done in the ER. Even if you are sent home with a clean bill of health, you should see your provider and let them know that you need the visit documented for worker’s compensation. Next, you should follow up with HR to see the required next steps and write down everything discussed. It would be best if you also asked for all that information in writing or sent it to you via email. If you do not stay out for the allotted period, you could forfeit any benefits you could have received. You will want to confirm how many days you need to be out before filing for workers’ compensation. The following steps require a lot of paperwork and deadlines that may require more work. You should try your best to complete the process in the time frame HR has shared. Documentation is going to be essential. Keep all your documents together in one place so you can produce any required documentation quickly. If your organization has an internal reporting system, then make sure you complete that process.

The goal is for you to be able to get whatever benefits you need if you need to be out or if you have future health issues. I know this is a challenging and complex topic. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

 Irnise F. Williams, Esq. is a nurse and principal attorney at The Law Office of Irnise F. Williams, LLC. You can learn more about her, her practice, and her courses for nurses at You can follow her on all social media platforms @yournurselawyer.

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