Avoiding Overexertion When Lifting and Transferring Patients
Home healthcare and hospice workers are at increased risk for injury. Approximately 20.5 per 10,000 workers experience an injury from lifting each year. In a single shift, a nurse is likely to lift a total of thousands of pounds. This puts nursing personnel at unusually high risk for back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). A musculoskeletal disorder is an injury of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage, joints, nerves, or blood vessels in the extremities or back that is caused or aggravated by work tasks such as lifting, pushing, and pulling. This activity will discuss the risks of manual patient handling, how to reduce these risks, the importance of patient assessment before a lift or transfer, and specific devices and techniques for patient lifts and transfers.