Safety for both nurses and patients

1-How do you protect your back?
2-How does your organization promote safe patient handling and mobility?
3-What action could you take to help your organization promote an environment that is
safe for both nurses and patients?

Module 8 ‘Watch Your Back’

Nurses often experience safety concerns during their working routine. Nurses are ranked
fifth among all occupations for musculoskeletal disorders. Most The injuries often result from
repeated manual activities such as transferring working in abnormal positions and positioning of
patients, demanding work schedules and staff shortages. The challenge is posed by increased
number of obese patients and many elderly people who require assistance in the performance of
daily living activities (Hinkle, 2014).These injuries make some nurses to leave the nursing
profession while others miss reporting to work as well as being referred to rehabilitation centers.
Musculoskeletal injuries can be avoided through utilization of proper body mechanics
when lifting positioning and transferring patients; this involves the correct use of muscles to
perform a particular task (Zwerdling, 2015).This can be achieved by keeping the back straight
and bending at the knee and hip joints.
Health care providers should be trained on proper body mechanics to help reduce the
incidences of musculoskeletal injuries (Zwerdling, 2015). In addition, patient also experiences

NUR213 MODULE 8 ‘Watch Your Back’

unintended effects such as decreased patient comfort, fear, damage to shoulders due to manual
lifting techniques and fractures from being dropped.
My organization ensures training health workers on proper body mechanics, appropriate
use of patient lifting machines to help reduce musculoskeletal injuries. Furthermore, it has
established a comprehensive safe patient handling program to protect healthcare providers from
injuries as well as patients and ensure their safety.
Promotion of an environment that is safe for the patient and healthcare worker can be
achieved by; coming up with policies that encourage nurses to report hazards, errors, incidents so
as to prevent future incidences and injuries.. Consequently, there should be adequate staffing to
ensure proper patient handling and mobility. Safe patient handling interventions should be put in
place to reduce occurrence of musculoskeletal injuries. The interventions include; replacement of
manual patient handling with mechanical equipment and inventing procedures for lifting and
moving patients. Safer Methods should be guided by the principle of ergonomics; the design of
work should best suit capabilities of workers (Zwerdling, 2015). Utilization of these ergonomics
will maximize the comfort and safety of patients when they are being handled.

NUR213 MODULE 8 ‘Watch Your Back’


Hinkle, J. L. (2014). Brunner & Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-surgical Nursing. K. H.
Cheever, & J. L. Hinkle (Eds.).
Zwerdling, D. (2015). Even ‘Proper’ Technique Exposes Nurses’ Spines To Dangerous Forces.

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