February 20, 2015 | | Comments 2
Print This Post
Email This Post

Injured Nurses: Who has your back?

In 2013 your nursing staff faced a
15% greater chance of spine injury
than firefighters.

Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics Table 18 for the spine injury picfinal tabulated 2013 rates of musculoskeletal injuries for FT workers, compared by occupation. Firefighters—who lug heavy ladders, people, and equipment daily—had a rate of 232 per 10,000. For nursing staff, the total was 264 per 10,000 full-time RNs and nursing assistants. A spine injury can end a career in the blink of an eye. But how can these injuries be prevented?

Your mother’s admonition to “bend your knees” while lifting something heavy may not be enough to protect the backs of your nursing staff. In an ongoing article series entitled Injured Nurses, NPR takes a look at what can happen when nurses depend solely on proper body mechanics (essentially, keeping your back straight while following mom’s advice) for moving patients. As of this writing, you’ll find three installments on NPR.org that explore the problem, possible solutions, and how some hospitals may or may not “have your back.”

On a positive note, the Baptist Health System reports that the Transfer and Lift with Care program it introduced in 2007 has reduced patient-handling injuries in their organization by 81%. One important factor in their success? Investing in assistive equipment and devices in each of its five hospitals.

If I can get specific statistics and practices from Baptist, I’ll post them here for you to share with your peers and hospital administrators. I’ll also post a link to a PDF of Table 18, which should be a little easier on the eyes than the official version.

In the meanwhile, if you’d like to share ways your organization has your back, feel free to comment below.


 

UPDATE> 4/4/2015. Here’s a highlighted section of Table 18, with the RN/nursing assistant and firefighter statistics highlighted.table excerpt

Entry Information

Filed Under: Assistive equipmentCare for the caregiverHot topicsInjured nursesQuality of careStaff motivationTechnology

Tags:

About the Author: Claudette Moore is an acquisitions editor at HCPro, focusing primarily on nursing topics. She is always looking for new books that will create a better workplace for nurses and their managers, so contact her if you would like to publish with HCPro.

RSSComments: 2  |  Post a Comment  |  Trackback URL

  1. I am confused by the claim In 2013 your nursing staff faced a 15% greater chance of spine injury than firefighters –
    Table 18 lists RNs as having an incidence rate of 55.7 while FF is listed at 231.8. How is the headline correct?

  2. Good question!

    In calculating the rate of these injuries to nursing staff, we included RNs (56) and nursing assistants (208) to come up with the total of 264 per 10,000 full-time nursing staff. I’ll add a snapshot of the table to the original post so it’s more clear.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.