Workman's comp....ugh.....

  1. Pulled a muscle in my lower back at work Monday evening. I was responding to a code blue in psych (which turned out to be a mock ) and injured my back. I was grabbing the airway box off the top of the crash cart and didn't have a good grip on it and it proceeded to fall to the ground. My gut instinct kicked in and I caught the box before it hit the ground. Knew immediately that I pulled something in my lower back. Filled out the paperwork, seen by the ER physician (because corporate med was closed) and sent home. Went in next day to see corp med doc per facility policy. Told him my back was hurting, an 8 at its worse. The Rx I get?? Darvocet N 100 one every 8 hours for pain and high dose ibuprofen. I am not a drug seeker, have never been to corporate in seven years except for a needlestick and to get my Mantoux test read. I was thinking, gee I wonder what people who REALLY get injuried and come to corporate get for pain meds? Our corporate med services a lot of the factories and businesses in the area and occasionaly they get a broken bone etc. Wonder if they send the home with anything for pain. I am not looking to get out of work, I didn't even ask for a slip. I just wanted some pain medicine so at least I could sleep at night. Went back today and did get some Vicodin for after work. Tomorrow's 12 hour shift should be interesting with the high dose ibuprofen. Think I am going to borrow my husband's TENS unit for the day. Wish me luck. I will need it.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    Sorry to hear about the back injury, what a pain !

    Good Luck Hope it feels better soon :wink2:
  4. by   LasVegasRN
    Hehhhhhhhh. What a crock. What SHOULD have been done for a nurse who is required to do heavy lifting:

    1. Restrictions - no lifting greater than 20 lbs (that's a big bag of potatoes - HEAVY if your back hurts). If your employer couldn't meet the restrictions, PAID TIME OFF until they can or you can go back to your regular lifting, pulling, stretching, IV-hanging, etc. self. The other option is limiting your work hours - cut them in half with COMPENSATION for the other half you have to be out for the back injury.

    2. Ibuprofen is fine IF you take it every 6 hours around the clock but you don't reach a therapeutic level until about the second day. You can't take it on an empty stomach, though.

    3. Flexeril may have been better than Vicodin. It's muscle spasm pain - they need to give the drug more suited to the injury.

    If after 3 days you are still having a lot of pain it wouldn't hurt to prescribe you some physical therapy.

    Some others may recommend a chiropractor. I will admit I am not a fan of chiropractors at ALL, but that's just my opinion.

    Hope you feel better soon, take care of that back!!
  5. by   deespoohbear
    Thanks Vegas-The Flexeril is for bedtime only. I am already in PT because of low back pain before this happened. I was getting better until this little stunt on Monday. I am also on a lift restriction-no greater than 10 lbs, plus reaching. Not sure how I am going to hang IV's tomorrow. That didn't even cross my mind. I will take care of my back. My husband's back is already a mess from years of dairy farming (no workman's comp there). You practically have to be dead before corp med will write you a slip to be off work. So we will see how tomorrow goes. If it gets to be too much, I will go home. Thanks again for the advice.
  6. by   dianah
    So sorry to hear of your wrenching experience; agree w/Vegas: ibuprofen round-the-clock and muscle relaxant and pain meds. Local ice application? Would PT be indicated at this early stage? I support a reasonable amount of chiropractic assistance. I was VERY glad to get pain relief (and a great massage!) from a chiropractor after I hurt my neck post-fall from a (fast-moving) horse. I felt the treatments were WELL worth the cost, and were judiciously applied (no long, drawn-out thing, squeezing more $$ out of me .. .), tapering off as I improved. . . . . just MHO.
    Hope you're soon feeling better. Keep us informed. (not familiar with "corporate" in your post. Can you see your primary???)
  7. by   Jenny P
    They let you work with a 10# weight restriction? WHAT THE HECK CAN YOU DO with a 10# as a nurse? They won't let us work unless we can handle a 25# weight restriction--they won't even let us do plain old paper work here; we have to stay out of the workplace until we can handle >20#.

    Please take care of yourself and take care of your back. It is how you make your living afterall.

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