Rich: ‘I had a serious crash on my return from work’

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One nurse, Richard, here tells his story of a serious injury – luckily one of his trauma nurses mentioned that their union covered him with journey accident insurance coverage.

Injury from an accident presents us with a physical and emotional crisis – but can also precipitate a financial crisis. And financial pressures can interfere with recovery. Because of shiftwork nurses and midwives can be especially prone to accidents on the way to and from work, but the NSW Coalition Government removed journey accident insurance from WorkCover in 2012. The nurses and midwives’ union then stepped in to cover members.

I had a serious bicycle crash on my return journey from work in December 2015. This necessitated a little emergency treatment in the intensive care ward at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. I woke a  couple of days later, after being kept unconscious. Understandably, I was pretty bamboozled and disorientated as I had no memory of my crash – but gradually pieced some things together and was filled in on the rest. I must say the emergency services were great and proactive and actually saved me from being even worse off. I was treated expertly and humanely in intensive care and five days later was fortunate to improve rapidly and transfer to a normal ward and soon discharge.

The Trauma Team managed my stay, discharge and follow-up and the trauma nurse reminded me of the Workcover changes a few years back (the NSW Government withdrew all travel accident claims as well as cutting other areas) and the ensuing protection undertaken by the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (my union), by partnering with an insurer to provide journey insurance for to and from work (for members).

As soon as I contacted them, the Association liaised between me and the insurer, providing reassurance and peace of mind that most medical costs and wages reimbursement would follow.

This removed anxiety about finances and allowed me to concentrate on rehab without rushing straight back to work.

I really thank the team at the Association for making this process easy and being encouraging and helping my fortunate recovery.  I only say this so that other members can feel reassured that this is really a great safety net, if you’re in a serious accident. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but it will make a real difference to you (or your workmates) if you do!

Thanks, Rich

Watch another story from midwife Shari Bugden about her injury and reliance on journey accident insurance in this video below.

Find out all about the NSWNMA journey accident insurance.

Previously on Nurse Uncut:

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