now to get staff to use the devices.....karen
in 2004, jean lucas, a nurse, suffered a "life-altering" back injury while helping a 600-pound patient get into bed at cooper university hospital.
more... giving patients, and nurses, a lift (philly.com)
lucas, then 60, ended up in the emergency room with a herniated disc after lifting the patient's leg. the injury forced her to retire.
"i just could not do 12-hour shifts three days a week anymore," she said earlier this week.
lucas and other nurses have argued for years that injuries like hers could be avoided with devices that make it easier to lift or slide patients. increasingly, hospitals - and lawmakers - are listening.
some hospitals are voluntarily investing in equipment they hope will keep nurses on the job and reduce workers-compensation claims. others may soon have no choice.
new jersey lawmakers expect to vote next week on a bill that would require hospitals and nursing homes to minimize manual lifting by employees. seven states have already passed such laws, according to the american nurses association. no bill is pending in pennsylvania.
"it's a big issue, and more and more we're using these adaptive devices," said betsy snook, executive director of the pennsylvania state nurses association.
nursing leaders say several trends are forcing hospitals to rethink how workers lift patients. for one, the nation's obesity epidemic has made patients a lot harder to move.
for another, the nursing shortage means that nurses themselves are older - nationally, the average age is 47 - and more susceptible to injury. painful backs and shoulders lead to lost time and workers-comp claims. because recruiting is difficult, hospitals and nursing homes want to keep nurses at the bedside as long as possible.
richard webster, vice president for musculoskeletal services at thomas jefferson university hospital, said generational changes were also at work. webster, who is a nurse, said younger nurses were, rightfully, less tolerant of job-related pain. "when i first started nursing, it was just sort of expected that, at the end of the day, you'd have a sore back," he said. "that was just part of the job." ...
Dec 8, '07
nj legislation re pt. handling being voted this week
s1758 [color=maroon]"safe patient handling act"; requires health care facilities to establish safe patient handling programs. identical bill number: [color=#009999]a3028
hope all nj nurses writing their legislators....
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Dec 8, '07
Dec 13, '07
It's great to see some thinking out of the box with the upwards trend of obesity, and safety for the healthcare worker.
Last edit by sharona97 on Dec 13, '07
: Reason: me