MS: Nurse incurred job-related injuries: award of disability benefits affirmed by court.
CASE FACTS: Phyllis Truelove was employed as a nurse with the Lowndes County Department of Health (Department). She had been employed by the Department for a total of ten and one-half years, previously working as a home health nurse. On August 8, 1995, Nurse Truelove suffered injuries to her neck and shoulder when she was involved in an automobile accident while performing her duties as a visiting home health nurse. An MRI revealed that she had suffered a herniated disk at the C4-5 level. On June 4, 1996, she underwent an anterior cervical discectomy. She underwent several years of physical therapy, as well as other pain management procedures, in an effort to alleviate the pain caused by her injury, all to no avail. Despite her constant complaints of pain, the nurse returned to work with the Tombigbee Home Health Agency as a medical re-certification nurse, rather than as a visiting nurse, which provided her with a more comfortable work environment. She was subsequently transferred to the Department as a nurse, where she worked in a clinic, the position she previously held when, on October 10, 2000, she claimed to have suffered a second duty-related injury, which prompted her to file an incident report with the Department the next day. In the incident report, the nurse stated that she was restraining a twelve-year-old boy who was about to receive an injection when she felt a "pop" in her neck, which was immediately followed by pain in her head and arms. After treatment for pain in her neck and arm, the nurse underwent surgery on December 7, 2000, to repair a herniated nucleus at the C5-6 level to alleviate the severe pain she was experiencing in her neck and arm. She returned to work following the surgery, under a fifteen pound weight...
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