Question about Workman's comp/light duty


  • Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 22 years experience.

I am currently working in LTC as a LPN on night shift. During the slow nights i like to go out onto the floor and help my cna's do rounds. In doing so i have gotten tendonitis in my right arm...from shoulder to wrist. Since i couldn't pin point one episode in particular that could have caused this i went to see my family Dr. i figured it was just from overuse and i would get some meds and all would be well. The Dr wanted me to be on lifting restrictions and stated "limit lifting to as tolerated". I made a copy and put it in the DONs mailbox, i got a call this afternoon that i was being taken off the schedule until i had a signed order from the Dr stating that i had NO restrictions!! They said they do not offer light duty for LPNs BUT there are SEVERAL cnas that are on light duty. Would this be different had i done it as a workerman's comp claim?? I know legally they can have their own policies on such issues, just makes me furious that they took me off the schedule. I do know that the CNAs all claimed WC, does that give them special treatment to be able to work as light duty?? I have heard SOOOOO many horror stories about WC that i didn't want to deal with it if i didn't have too!! Now i am wondering if i did the wrong thing?? Any advice???

Specializes in Hospice.

I think to get light duty you should go through workers comp. we have someone that is getting workers comp /light duty for a similar injury

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

This is a very common situation. Most nursing positions are not amenable to light duty status. Therefore, light duty is only available when there is no other alternative, i.e., the workers' comp claim requires it.

I doubt that you will ever be able to obtain light duty without a WC claim.

xtxrn, ASN, RN

4,266 Posts

Employers are not required to provide light duty tasks unless it's work related. Since you couldn't pinpoint the date/time, there is a good chance the employer would deny comp. :(

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

We didn't offer light duty as my last job either unless it was WC, in which case by law we had to. I think you screwed yourself. I also think it is too late to unring the bell, but I'm not an expert on the subject.


148 Posts

Talk to your doctor about your job and whether this is work related. Chances are your Dr. will tell you to file A WC claim.

I hurt my shoulder turning a patient and didn't initially report it because it hurt a bit, but I thought it would go away--just like work pains usually do. But it didn't go away and got worse and worse. I had to think back to remember when it started and it lines up with that particular day and I can remember bathing him and no one being available to help me.

Filed with WC. Had 90 days of light duty (careful what you wish for--light duty really sucks) and then was put off of work and am recieving workers comp pay. Doctor now thinks I have tendonitis related to the injury. Conservative treatments have all failed me. Making the decision tomorrow for surgery after my doctor recommended it last week.

Also--just because you can't pin point an exact time this happened doesn't mean you can't file for workers' comp. It is accepted that some injuries, like yours, have a gradual onset. Take care of yourself and good luck. I know navigating WC can be a real pain.

madwife2002, BSN, RN

74 Articles; 4,777 Posts

Specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN. Has 26 years experience.

In my facility we only give light duty to WCemploees and for no other reason


1,549 Posts

Specializes in Post Anesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

By offering light duty your employer is dodging having to face the consequences of BWC ordering full wages for no work (TTD). This a an WC insurance claim and it can result in higher premiums for them just like a car accident claim can raise your car ins. As others have said- light duty may not be anything you want to face. The job you get as "Light Duty" dosen't in any way have anything to do with what you did before the injury, or your choice. You could find yourself doing 8hrs a day of reading charts for typos and correcting transcriptionists spelling errors in dictated H&Ps- or typing dictated H&Ps. I know peple who loved "light duty" for the chance to try something different, but I have never found light duty to anything I'd want to do for a day, let alone weeks. Get your doc to release you and try to baby your arm a bit till it feels better.-" We have no open light duty positions open for your job title" is exactly what I hope to hear when I am injured at work. Then again, I try not to do the workmans comp route if I can avoid it. The problems involved in getting the treatment I need aren't worth it. I'd rather go through my regular health insurance and swear I hurt my shoulder playing softball with my kids before I'd go through workmans comp.


148 Posts

Suanna is exactly right. The other thing you face on light duty is bitter co-workers who act like there's nothing really wrong with you and complain behind your back about the lack of work you're doing. Ugh.

Then there's the doctors who invariably begin to treat you condescendingly and act as though they don't believe a word you're telling them. (Granted, this was one of my docs, the others have been alright.) Then you constantly get the run around and have to jump through a million hoops before workers' comp will agree to give you the treatment you ultimately need.

And don't forget about when light duty runs out and they put you off work--workers' comp might decide to deny your claim and then you have no income while you fill out disability forms and try to get the doctors to sign off on them in a timely manner.

My brother has 2 herniated discs in his back from his job--heavy lifting at a warehouse store. His case has been so much worse than mine as far as being handled fairly and smoothly. It actually makes my employers workers' comp look great and I'm thankful for a much easier time than he has had. Also love my workers' comp rep for the actual hospital. She's amazing and genuinely seems to want to help. The problem is, this is not the norm.

rn/writer, RN

17 Articles; 4,168 Posts

Talk to your doc or someone in ortho or sports medicine about repetitive stress injuries. That sound like what you have, and it's hard to write out an injury or incident report because it usually isn't a one-time thing. It's the over and over part that does you in.

If you can get this documented as a rep. stress injury r/t work, that's a game changer for the better.