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Moving patients a common cause of injury in health care

Today’s nurses have an undeniably tough profession, and the risks they face when they show up to work each day trump those experienced by Americans in numerous other fields and industries. In fact, the nursing profession is so dangerous that Healthcare Business & Technology reports that modern nurses face greater injury risks than construction workers, industrial workers and anyone else who makes a living performing only physical labor.

If you make your living working as a nurse in a North Carolina hospital or other health care setting, you may have firsthand knowledge of the aches, pains and emotional tolls your job can take on you. However, you may not realize that one of your biggest safety risks involves transporting patients from one location to another.

Dangers associated with lifting patients

Nowadays, nurses suffer roughly 35,000 back or musculoskeletal injuries each year that keep them out of work, and many of these injuries result from moving heavy patients. Many hospitals and similar settings encourage group lifting in an effort to help reduce the strain placed on their nurses’ bodies. However, many such health care environments also suffer from chronic understaffing issues, which can make finding an entire team to perform lifting when necessary incredibly difficult.

Furthermore, team lifting and taking care to otherwise use proper lifting techniques does not eliminate your risk of lifting-related injuries. Heavy lifting can lead to compressed disks in the back, even when performed as part of a team, and using proper techniques, such as bending your knees, does not eliminate all injury risks. Also, it tends to be easier on your body if you lift something close to your body, but this is difficult when you are relocating patients from their beds to somewhere else and you can only get so close to them.

Lifting patients places a strain on many parts of your body. The more lifting you perform, the greater your risk of suffering strains, sprains, tears, compressed disks and related injuries.

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