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Back Care for Nurses - Back Care for NursesWellness...

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Sheet1 Page 1 Back Care for NursesWellness â°º Ergonomics âx º Back Care for Nurses Your email has been sent. Thank you. Alan Hedge, PhD, CPE Professor, Ergonomics Cornell University Ithaca, NYEmail Print RSS Discuss Text Size-A +A Construction workers, warehouse personnel, delivery goods drivers, nurses, shopkeepers and farm workers. If you had to choose, which of these occupations suffers the highest incidence of back injury? You might think that construction workers or delivery goods drivers might be the riskiest occupations for back injuries, because the work involves a lot of bending and lifting, but you'd be wrong! Many people are surprised to learn the nursing is the riskiest occupation for back injuries! In fact, nursing has the second highest incidence of all types of non-fatal work-related injuries in the U.S.A. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics are shown below in Table 1, and nursing easily tops the list of occupation as most associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders. By what is this and what can be done to reduce risks? TABLE 1 Number (in 1,000s) of work-related musculoskeletal disorders involving time away from work and median days away from work by occupation, 1998.OccupationNumber Median days away from work Total musculoskeletal disorders592.57 Registered nurses, nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants61.55 Truck drivers43.910 Laborers, non-construction36.66 Assemblers19.710 Janitors and cleaners14.05 Stock handlers and baggers11.35 Construction laborers 10.87 Cashiers10.05 Carpenters 9.37 (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1998). In all industries combined, 1998 injury data show that nearly 12 out of 100 nurses in hospitals, and 17.3 out of 100 nurses working in nursing homes report work-related musculoskeletal injuries, including back injuries, which is about double the rate for all industries combined. Recent Research on Back Injuries in Nursing A Dutch questionnaire survey of back pain prevalence and physical work demands compared nurses working in institutional care with nurses working in patient's private homes, where there was more frequent and heavy lifting and transferring of patients, plus more static workloads. Results showed that back pain prevalence was relatively high among these community nurses, as compared to rates among nurses in other health care sectors. Community nurses with back pain, who continued to work, reported providing less efficient home care work.
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Sheet1 Page 2 Total sick leave incidence due to musculoskeletal disorders, other than back pain, exceeded that due to back pain alone among these community nurses. [1]Similar results have been reported in an Australian retrospective questionnaire survey of manual handling activities and associated injuries among 269 nursing professionals working at a large teaching and referral medical center in Melbourne, Australia. [2] Overall, 40.1% reported an injury associated with manual handling activity, of which 75.9% (82) were back injuries. The prevalence of all manual handling and back injuries was lower among the 108 full- time nurses, 20.6% and 15.7% respectively. Direct patient care activities accounted for about two-thirds (67.6%) of all manual handling
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