Are R.N's prone to serious back injury? - page 2

Have any of you suffered from a back injury or worst on the job? Are there any precautions you are taught or given in nursing school or the job?:confused: :imbar :uhoh21:... Read More

  1. by   charissa
    An artilce in a a ournal recently, maybe AJN was talking about how we are all taught safe lifting practrices, but in england there are mostly No Lift workplaces, where they use assistive devices and are not to lift, as, according to them, studies have shown that "proper body position for lifting" is useless. Now i am not enitrely sure about that, and i do try to follow them, but many a nurse that has, has still been injured, some that i work with
  2. by   passing thru
    Thanks Gwen for you invaluable info.
    A good thread. And an informative thread for us nurses.

    I know two nurses who have left nursing forever because of back injuries.
    All I can say is don't lift patients without 1-2 nurses to help. And when you have morbidly obese patients, we wait until 5-6 "lifters" are there.

    We call security to help. We call other units and explain the situation and tell them the time to arrive for the "lift" and that
    works most of the time for us. Usually the lift is for a linen change and peri cleansing.

    There's not enough nurses in our hospital to lose one to back injury for every dead weight lift. We'd lose them all in one day.

    I take NSAIDS daily and my back is aching as I write....
    and I am very protective of my health.
  3. by   mattsmom81
    Repetitive stress injury. That is the current phrase for the type of injuries nurses suffer. It is rarely just one incident that puts us down, but incidents such as combative patients ON TOP of years of excess stress to our bones, joints and muscles.

    I am to the point where I refuse to help a heavy patient OOB if I can't find sufficient help. And I also insist they do for themselves. They get angry, but we can't allow them to hurt us. We are not martyrs. Once we severely injure our back it's never the same.

    I also get angry with nurses who lift improperly...I am constantly griping coworkers out when they say things like "Oh lets pull just the patient, the draw sheet is too high". Or those who don't want to take a minute to raise the bed to a workable height. I've gotten very bossy when it comes to lifting...LOL! And its because I've been injured....we gotta save our backs and reduce repetitive stress whenever we can.

    The small everyday ergonomic things are important sitting in decent chairs, posture checks, even height of IV pumps on the poles...layout of the room, etc, to reduce twisting, straining, etc. I'd like to see these things taught as part of the hospital safety program.

    I hope they are teaching student nurses these things in school.
  4. by   FutureNurse2006
    When I do become a nurse I will take the necessary precautions to avoid back injury and ask for help when needed. Thanks
  5. by   flashpoint
    Not just RNs...LPNs, CNAs, etc...I hate it when people think only RNs are nurses...
  6. by   mother/babyRN
    Even if you are fortunate to have adequate staffing, the answer, over time,is an unqualified YES! And sometimes it is the smallest, most insignificant movement which will do it....I have had several strains and currently harbor a bulging lumbar disc, BUT I still consider myself fortunate to have suffered only that in my 23 years of active hospital nursing where lifting was a huge aspect....
  7. by   CseMgr1
    Originally posted by 2bPhD
    Nurses never retire, they just go out on permanent disability!

    You got THAT right!
  8. by   FutureNurse2006
    Sorry cotjokey, I meant all nurses in general I know not just R.N's injure their back is all the nurses who care for the sick and disabled. GOD BLESS YOU ALL FOR DOING WHAT YOU DO!
  9. by   laurasc
    I injured my back when I was about 15 weeks pregnant with my first son. I was pulling an old man up in bed with another nurse. Instead of pushing with his feet when we pulled, he went limp and caught both of us off guard. I had to fight to be taken seriously by the doctor assigned to care for the hospital staff. I was finally put on "preventative pregnancy" leave through workman's compensation.

    That was my first and only severe back injury. I've had little back strains but generally have been good.

    Interestingly enough, I still have considerable pain in my back to this day....14 years later. Even the lightest pressure on my lower back will cause exquisite pain.

  10. by   Audreyfay
    I had a low back strain with neuropathy in my (L) leg. It was a fluke. A little lady I was getting up, lost her balance, and I moved quickly to prevent a fall. That's all it took! One accident. I was off for 1 week, and on light duty for a few weeks after. I got disability until I was back to my usual work hours. Ended up changing jobs to get of the back surgery floor...too much lifting! Since then, once in a while my back acts up and I go back to the chiropractor. I've been told I have a bulging disc. It's been there for 8 years better no worse. I have a no-lifting job now and do well. But, we aren't the only back-injury prone profession. There are many!
  11. by   VickyRN
    been there done that also!! What does our occcupational health doc do....take a NSAID! Back injuries tend to occur no matter how well you use "ergonomic" lifting equipment, proper lifting techniques, etc...500lbs of dead weight still dead weight! On your feet 12hrs, squatting, pushing, pulling, twisting, running, etc.....the back can only take sooo much before it screams at you....mine has been hurting for over a year straight now...OH did send me to PT though, oh and they told me muscle strain, it will work itself out?? WHATEVER!
    Most occupational health for on-site back injuries is a big joke. If you want REAL treatment, you have to get your own doc/chiropractor/PT, not the "toy doc" furnished by the hospital. Still, it is very important to file the claim at the time of the back injury or strain (no matter how insignificant the injury may seem) and let the "toy doc" evaluate the injury. This documentation is vital if you need to file for disability at a later date.
  12. by   Keysnurse2008
    I am an RN.I have 2 herniated cervical discs and a bent c spine .I was not lifting a patient.I was simply the unlucky one who was standing in front of a patient who decided to pass out on me.He fell/ collapsed over my shoulder/neck.I tried to hold me and him up while I screamed out for help.My lower back popped and I collapsed to the floor and the pt slammed down on my head/neck/shoulders a second time.I now have pain all the you see.....sometimes it is not a "wrong lift" type injury.
  13. by   gwenith
    We were told that most back injuries are form repetative strain injuries and it is not one wrong lift but a series over years. Although cases like Tn nurse above are the exception to that ( hope you do recover).

    Blaming us for lifting wrongly is not an answer to the porblem. The answer lies in finding ways around having to lift at all. This is why I am such an advocate of slide sheets - cheap easy and effective - washable. re-usable but they do take a little more time. They also get it into a patients head that them moving themselves is better than us moving them.