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 states that “Safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) programs, if properly implemented, can drastically reduce healthcare worker injuries.” It also states 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 puts 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 Technology (SPHM).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 American Nurses Association (ANA) emphasizes the importance of reducing the physical requirements of high-risk tasks.5