Lift test

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    I am looking for people to share their experiences with lift tests in conjunction with pre-employment physicals. I was informed that I would be expected to lift 50# from floor to waist and knee to waist. I am currently undergoing physical therapy for an exacerbation of a sports injury and am uncertain as to whether I will be able to lift this much weight, and I certainly do not want to exacerbate my injury further. I hope to be fully rehabilitated in a few months, but only time will tell.

    I did not spend 2.5 years in school just to have trouble gaining employment because of something like this! I am very frustrated and am looking for support and encouragement, so please do not lecture me on how lifting is an important part of nursing.

    I believe that the number of back injuries in nursing speak to the fact that this is an issue for many nurses and should be addresseed by the profession. However, in the meantime I want to find a satisfactory position in an acute care setting.
    Last edit by ICRN2008 on Sep 22, '06
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    I am particularly interested in this topic. You see I am a BIN (back injured nurse).
    The lift limits are from the NIOSH revised formula. Even so, 50 lbs is too much IMHO for anyone to be expected to do. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ergosci1.html

    In Australia for example the no lift policies are much more stringent. Is the 50# an absolute at that facility? If I am not mistaken that limit is also that of postal and UPS workers. I don't think I'd apply for a job that had that as an absolute.
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    Quote from P_RN
    I am particularly interested in this topic. You see I am a BIN (back injured nurse).
    The lift limits are from the NIOSH revised formula. Even so, 50 lbs is too much IMHO for anyone to be expected to do. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ergosci1.html

    In Australia for example the no lift policies are much more stringent. Is the 50# an absolute at that facility? If I am not mistaken that limit is also that of postal and UPS workers. I don't think I'd apply for a job that had that as an absolute.
    Thanks for the link. From what I understand, I can get a lift restriction from my primary care physician. However, I am worried that doing so will impact the organization's decision to hire me.

    I am currently seeing an orthopedic doc, but he did not give me any lift restrictions for clinicals. For right now I rely on knowing my limits, and I do not lift more than I am able to do safely. I am very good about asking for help (and offering help in return), and most of the time I avoid lifting my patients unless it is absolutely necessary.
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    I had to do a lift test! It sucked! I left wondering how everyone could pass. I had to lift a box of weights (50lbs) 5 times from the ground and put it on a table. Then take it off the table and put it back on the ground. Then I had to lie on my stomach and hold one leg up for as long as I could, then the other leg. Then I had to do sit-ups....it was awful. I was in great shape at the time because I was working out a few times a week then, and it was still a workout. Then, we went straight to the fit testing for the TB masks. UGH!
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    My hospital is in the process of starting a per-employment lift test. Staff dev employees are being trained in the standards of conducting the test. Admin is looking into what employees will need to take it. CNA only, all nursing staff, all direct care staff ect??????

    I for it! Right now the person is employeed, then takes a class that requires them to lift a 50 lb manikin from the floor from one. ( there is a two other persons also lifting noone does it solo). IF a employee cannot do this they are separated. Yes, out of a job during orientation & training... when they have most likely just gave up a job to came to work for us... A very bad seen. Oh! The employee is told about the requirment in the interview process! But still comes as a surprise to them when it happens.

    I can do the test required for my hospital.. but one descride above, 50 lbs multiple times I think not!!!!!
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    Are you all basically saying that if someone does not pass the test they are denied employment? I think that this is pretty poor, especially in the face of the current nursing shortage. In addition, there are now devices on the market to help lift patients safely- it seems like pretty "dark ages" thinking to rely solely on human muscle.

    I think that I will call my physician on Monday morning and seek a lift restriction. If they do not hire me with this restriction, I will take it as a cue that the organzation does not value me for my brains. If they only see me as "another body", then I do not wish to work for them anyways.
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    As an aside, I was only told about this requirement after I had already interviewed, accepted the position, completed my drug testing and scheduled my orientation. I found out today when the secretary scheduling my pre-employment physical exam appointment mentioned it as an aside. I have orientation one week from Monday, and my physical is this coming Monday. That only leaves me about 3 hours to obtain the letter from my doctor. This hospital supposedly has Magnet status, but so far in my dealings with their HR department I have been far from impressed. Maybe I will stick with my current employer after graduation after all.....
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    If you are in one of the states that can discharge you for any reason...then yes indeed they can pink slip you for any reason or no reason. That would (to me) seem another reason to stay with your current employer-they know you and might cut you some slack.
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    Wait a minute........are you applying for a nursing job, or joining the military?!

    I never heard of such a thing before---putting nurses through their paces like athletes in spring training? Sounds to me like grounds for a lawsuit if the organization refuses to hire (or worse, dismisses) staff who cannot perform such grueling tasks. That eliminates a lot of potential employees.........especially nurses over 40 or 50, those with prior back, neck, or knee injuries, and those who are not "in shape".

    It also tells me that this hospital does not care about employee health or safety. Many institutions have implemented 'no-lift' policies and appropriate equipment for this purpose that help protect nurses and patients from injuries; it sounds like this place is only interested in maximizing its profits at the expense of the nursing staff.

    RUN, do not walk, away from this facility and don't look back........they don't deserve you. There are plenty of opportunities in our profession for nurses; don't risk your health and your back for an employer that will use you up and then kick you to the curb when you re-injure yourself.


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