Gene Kay MS, CEA, and Peter Budnick, PhD, CPE 25th September, 2013
This article is reprinted with permission from The Ergonomics Report™ Archives, where it originally appeared on November 1, 2011.
Low back pain remains the number one musculoskeletal disorder among nurses, and it is widely attributed to manual patient handling activities that routinely expose nurses to heavy lifting, awkward postures, and high push/pull forces. In response, a number of ergonomic interventions have been developed to reduce the occurrence of back pain in patient handling activities. The efficacy of interventions such as lifting devices, adjustable beds, slip sheets, etc. has been demonstrated in several studies cited in this article, but implementing a safe patient handling process that uses such ergonomic equipment interventions has proven difficult for some, and previous studies have identified individual factors such as lack of perceived need and lack of knowledge, and organizational factors such as lack of time, lack of a policy of mandatory lift usage and employee-to-ergonomic device ratio, as barriers to success. Netherlands based researchers E. Koppelaar, J.J. Knibbe, H.S. Miedema and A. Burdorf devised this study to further evaluate both individual and organizational factors that influence the use of safe patient handling equipment during patient handling activities.
|Patient Functional Mobility|
|Activity — Compulsory Devices||Independent Patient||Needs Assistance to Perform||Passive Patient – Can’t Assist|
|Patient Transfers – Lifting Device||Yes||Yes|
|Patient Transfers – Adjustable Bed||Yes||Yes|
|Reposition in Bed – Adjustable Bed||Yes||Yes|
|Reposition in Bed – Slip Sheet||Yes||Yes|
|Personal Care – Adj Shower Chair||Yes||Yes|
|Dressing – Compression Stocking Slide||Yes||Yes||Yes|