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

REFERENCES: 1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Industry Injury and Illness Data (2007). http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/case/ostb1942.pdf. 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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Evaluation of a new procedure for boosting critically ill patients in bed
Susan L. Salsbury, OTR/L CDMS, Beth Kaper, BSN RN TNCC, Justin L. Martin, MPT
Poster presented at the Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Conference, April 11-15, 2016.
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The adoption of a new device for turning, boosting and lateral transfer in critically ill patients
Susan L. Salsbury, OTR/L CDMS, Beth Kaper, BSN RN TNCC, Justin L. Martin, MPT
Poster presented at the Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Conference, April 11-15, 2016.
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Reducing Healthcare Worker Injury: The Establishment, Implementation, and Results of an Evidenced-Based Protocol for Lateral Patient Transfer
Ruth E. Chance, BSN, RN, Karen K. Giuliano, PhD, RN
Presented at the 2015 Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Conference, April 20-24, Glendale, AZ
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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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Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Patient Repositioning System for Preventing Workplace Injury
Debbie Burris, RN BSc.N, Director of Clinical Practice & Transformation
Poster presented at the 19th Annual CAWC Conference; November 7-10, 2013, Vancouver, Canada
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What the Experts Say – Lateral Transfers: Potential for Staff Injury
Excerpts from various studies/articles
Lateral Transfers: Potential for Staff Injury (PDF)

Patient Turning and Repositioning: Current Methods & Challenges, a WOCN Perspective
72% of Wound Care Nurses Report Patients Frequently Move Out of Position After a Turn
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Patient Turning and Repositioning: Current Methods & Challenges, a Critical Care Nurse Perspective
93% of Nurses Report Staff Injury Due to Turning or Boosting a Patient
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Who Is Turning the Patients? A Survey Study
Voz, Anita BSN, CWCN; Williams, Carol BSN; Wilson, Marian MPH, RN-BC
Journal of Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing
View abstract

New Turning and Positioning System Facilitates Patient Repositioning to Aid in Pressure Ulcer Healing
Caryn Baldwin, RN; Wound Care Coordinator
Kindred Healthcare, October 2010
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Intervention With a New Turning and Positioning System Promotes Recommended Pressure Ulcer Care
Diane Zeek, MS, APN, NP-C, CWOCN and Renee Malandrino, APN, CWOCN
Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights, IL
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Preventing Healthcare Worker Injury During Lateral Patient Transfer

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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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