Patient Handling - A Multidisciplinary Approach
Martel, RN, MS
Administrative Director Nursing Operations
Fletcher Allen Healthcare
Lifting is the single most
important occupational risk factor associated with low back
injury. Patient lifting has long been identified as the
primary occupational back stressor for nursing personnel.
AIHAJ(62) July/August 2001
A. The nursing profession
has been shown to be one of the most at risk occupations
for low back pain.
(IOS Press 2002)
B. Injury is more likely to occur when workers perform tasks
that exceed their physical capacities.
(Physical and Biological Hazards of the Workplace, Second
C. In 2001 forty-two percent of musculoskeletal injuries
occurred in patient care locations.
Fifty-three percent of those injuries involved back
and upper extremities.
A. Organize a multidisciplinary
team, with each responsible for representing a specialized body
2. Patient Support Services
4. Physical Therapy
5. Employee Health
7. Quality Improvement
(FAHC Employee Health Data 2002)
of care site assessment
B. Staff education program
C. Back injury resource nurses (BIRN's)
D. Policy development and implementation
E. Mechanical device evaluation
A. Staff education
B. Concurrent data collection on injury rate
A. Assess culture
B. Assess education tools
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reduces cost. AIHAJ A journal for the science of occupational and environmental health and safety,
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between mechanical and manual patient transfer techniques. Work 19 (2002) IOS Press, 19-34.
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Second Edition. 51-57.
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