- 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.
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.