Back injuries?

  1. I'm a student nurse. I look forward to my new career, but I'm worried about injuring my back. Any advice for a new nurse or nurses in general? Any nurses out there with on the job back injuries?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I injured my back in early 2005 while I was a student in an LVN program. I have an L4/L5 injury that has resulted in severe sciatic nerve pain every day of my life. It affects my ability to walk due to neurogenic claudication (in other words, the pain runs down the back of my legs whenever I walk).

    I have lived with and adapted to the pain because I must etch out a livelihood. My only advice is to utilize proper lifting techniques and ask for help when you have assessed that you cannot accomplish the feat alone. Good luck and maintain the curve!
  4. by   meownsmile
    I injured my back in 97, however i dont think it was from nursing. I think it came from a previous job. Luckily i dont have residual pain or problems after surgery. But believe me it wasnt fun spending almost 5 months flat in bed. If you do hurt yourself, take the time to heal completely before you return to work.
    Learn and use your body mechanics well. A good orientation program should take you through steps and procedures for lifting safely and preventing back/shoulder and leg injuries.
  5. by   ginger58
    Do abd tightening exercises. When you go to move someone tighten your abds. Don't rush. Someone slipped down in the bed or safely on the floor can wait for you to get enough help and equipment. If you're alone, don't think you can do it yourself. Utilize lift equipment. If you're afraid of getting hurt, get someone else. Make sure your facility has lift equipment. Use a gait belt on a pt. if you have them. Get PT to show you how to move a pt. or have them help you. Our course in the real world...
  6. by   dmarie (GA)
    Great advice! The ab tightening exercises are a new year's resolution of mine! I'm going to try and strengthen my core as much as possible.............
  7. by   mchaff00rn
    PUT THE BED UP!! Dont be in to big of a hurry. We new nurses try to do it all, deligate!!! I wish you the best of luck!
  8. by   deehaverrn
    Don't be fooled by the myth that proper body mechanics means that you should be moving more than 50 lbs on a regular basis...the human body is not built for this stress. Nurses need to start refusing to put themselves at risk. Once you injure yourself your profession as well as your employer and indeed the govt who makes the rules will turn their backs on you. Sorry but that is the way it is. I lifted people for 20 years before my back gave out...but notice the Worker's Compensation issue that gets the govt's attention is the NFL!! They're the ones making millions a year not us.
    After loving nursing for all these years, I now sincerely regret ever getting into it. My life is a constant struggle with pain...either enduring it in order to accomplish something or being sedated with pain medication. As far as "proper lifting and body mechanics" go, I was told by my former physical therapist that I have great body mechanics and that my injury was definitely not a result of anything that I did wrong. Rather the degeneration caused by years of lifting was the culprit.
    I really hate to say it...but do yourself a favor and change your career path while you still have a chance. It sounds harsh, but believe me ..this is the best advice you will get!
  9. by   woody62
    I suffered my first low back injury in 1972. I suffered another one in 1975 and a third one, in 1979. They were all diagnosed as low back strain, which they mostly were. But I thought using the proper body mechanics I could lift or assist anyone. I finallt herniated my L4-5 disc in January of 1988. You cannot lift a patient by yourself, not even with the patient's assistance. You cannot transfer a patient alone. You need to use another nurse and a slide board. Each time you strain your low back, you are doing damage. And one day, you will damage it to the point of herniating a disc.

    Woody

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