Most common injuries among Nurses

Symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders include pain that can vary according to the extent of the injury. The most commonly reported musculoskeletal injuries among nurses are: low back injuries; shoulder and neck injuries; wrist or hand injuries or disorders and lower extremity injuries. According to a study conducted by the America Nurses Association in 2001, of the nearly 5,000 nurses surveyed, 83% reported working with back pain. Back injuries may range from a mild ache with good recovery to career impacting events. Disabling back pains has been ranked second in workplace health and safety concerns. Studies have confirmed that better than one out of 10 nurses leave the profession due to back pain. Most back injuries occur when a nurse attempts a task without the aid of proper equipment or the adequate help from fellow staff members. Lifting devices may be poorly maintained or simply store in inconvenient places. Staffing shortages can make team work difficult or there may be an institutional culture that fails to recognise the importance of protecting nurses as a valuable resource.

Ashley, LVN: I did not take care of my back when I was a LVN; a labour and delivery nurse. The nature of my injury was basically, I took care of a large woman and had to hold her leg up for a very long time and sustained a torn muscle in my lower back as well as two herniated discs. In addition to her size, her legs were quite large; I didn’t take breaks, I had not raised to a point that was really safe for my back. I’m sure I didn’t use my thigh muscles to sort of hold the leg in a good way using body mechanics. So I was really using my lower back. I’m sure I twisted in these funny positions to try to hold her and she was getting frustrated because it was a very long labour. So I think I didn’t take care of myself because I was so busy taking care of her and her emotional needs. So, If I ever did it again I would make sure that that bed was at the right height, I would take breaks, I would ask other nurses to help me, take turns doing it.