Activities that increase risks for LVN

Environmental hazards may contribute to risks for injuries during any patient handling activity:
  •  Floors may be wet and slippery or uneven.
  •  Bathrooms and shower stalls may not be designed to accommodate both the patient and the caregiver.
  •  Obstructions may be present and not easily removed, beds and chairs may not be designed to adjust to positions that enable nurses to perform tasks while adhering to the principles of biomechanics and body mechanics.
  •  Lifting, pulling/pushing and twisting are three required activities that put nurses at risk for injury.

old patient
Lifting patients is one of the most hazardous activities that LVN perform on a daily basis. The definition of a lift can range from helping patients sit up in bed to helping a fallen patient get up from the floor. If a nurse lifts a patient every 15 minutes during an eight hour shift and the average weight for each patient is 150 lbs, then over the course of a typical day at work a nurse will lift way over 2 tons. Back injuries among LVNs may occur when a lift is repeatedly performed on a daily basis. Lifting patients without adequate help from staff or the aid of appropriate equipment may significantly increase the risk for a back injury.

The actions of pulling and pushing while performing patient care contribute to musculoskeletal injuries by combining forceful exertion with awkward positioning. Over time, the repetitive actions of pulling and pushing such as turning patients or transferring patients may damage muscles, ligaments and vertebrae.

Twisting the trunk or torso in the act of performing patient care contributes to undue stress on muscles and ligaments as well as the spine. Ligaments can no longer properly support the alignment of the spine and the vertebrae becomes unlocked leaving the spine vulnerable to injury.

Patient care activities often require nurses to lift, pull and twist simultaneously. By working with patients in beds or chairs that do not meet good ergonomic standards. LVNs are often required to hold static positions for lengthy periods of time. These activities may result in damage to the body, developing painlessly over time or they may be the cause of an immediate career ending injury.