Preventing Healthcare Worker Injury

Nurses lose an average of 35,800 workdays each year as a result of musculoskeletal injury, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 Over time, repetitive lifting and pulling motions required to turn and reposition patients can lead to debilitating back, shoulder, elbow, and wrist injuries.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM): Interprofessional National Standards state that “Safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) programs, if properly implemented, can drastically reduce healthcare worker injuries.” They also state that, “Universal SPHM standards are needed to protect healthcare workers from injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Addressing healthcare worker safety through SPHM will also improve the safety of healthcare patients.”2

Boosting and repositioning also put healthcare workers at risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as low back pain, sciatica, rotator cuff injuries, epicondylitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.3 Guidelines recommend reducing the physical requirements of high risk tasks through the use of Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) Technology.3

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) also specifies the need for using a lateral transfer device in the perioperative setting,4 while the ANA emphasizes the importance of reducing the physical requirements of high-risk tasks.5

REFERENCES: 1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Industry Injury and Illness Data (2007). Accessed October 15, 2013. 2. American Nurses Association (ANA) Draft Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) National Standards, 2012:15. 3. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Guidelines for nursing homes: ergonomics for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders, 2009:4,5. 4. Pocket Reference Guide: Safe Patient Handling and Movement in the Perioperative Setting. AORN Toolkit. Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. 2014. 5. Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Interprofessional National Standards Across the Care Continuum. American Nurses Association. 2013.

Repositioning patients in chairs-an improved method
Fragala G
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Safe Patient Handling Initiative Results in Reduction in Injuries and Improved Patient Outcomes for Pressure Ulcer Prevention
Heather Way RN, BSN, MSN, Critical Care Clinical Specialist
Poster presented at the 2014 Safe Patient Handling East Conference on March 27, 2014
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Combination of Safe Patient Handling and Use of Ergonomic Repositioning Device Reduces Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers and Employee Injury Claims
Molly Persby, RN, C, MHSA, Divisional Vice President, Clinical and Quality Services, Select Medical
Poster presented at the ALTHA’s 2012 National Clinical Conference, Dallas TX, May 16-18, 2012
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Preventing Healthcare Worker Injury During Patient Turning & Repositioning

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Preventing Healthcare Worker Injury When Boosting Patients in the Bedside Chair

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