Personal Safety for Nurses

First of all, 75% of hospital nurses report that more than half their time is spent performing repetitive activities that put them at risk. The energy nurses expend in lifting, pulling, pushing and twisting as a daily requirement of patient care can result in fatigue with places both the nerves and the patient at risk for injury. There is no safe way to manually manoeuvre a person. The knowledge and practise of proper body mechanics which are useful for moving inanimate objects do not apply to the task of lifting and moving people. The weight and mass of inanimate objects remain constant and predictable. Such objects may also come with handles to assist with proper and safe handling. But people can shift their weight, contort their bodies and during the task at hand change from helping to hindering. The use of body mechanics for patient handling is an insufficient approach for preventing musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. This blog series will define biomechanics, body mechanics and ergonomics and examine their roles in nursing and patient safety. It will examine activities that increase risks for injury during patient handling and identify the most commonly reported injuries among nurses. It will demonstrate patient handing behaviours that put nurses at risk for injury and advocate the use of equipment designed for specific patient handing tasks. In general, we promotes the need for developing a culture of safety throughout the nursing field.