Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics - page 9

It starts in nursing school. The lie is perpetrated by management in just about every facility. They say they care about your health, your back, but is it true? Unfortunately, it is not. Many... Read More

  1. by   Lolabug07
    I read the 35 pounds statement to mean when you are reaching across a patient's bed to help lift them that if they weigh more than that your back is at risk for injury. I think the statement referred more to the compromising position of your body bent over.
    Last edit by Lolabug07 on Sep 23, '15
  2. by   suanna
    We've known this for 20+ years. "Body Mechanics" are just a way for the hospital or Workmans Comp administrator to twist the injury to make it seem like it was the nurses fault. I have been counseled about improper use of body mechanics when lifting. You see employee health because you don't want to further injure an already strained back. Instead of a couple of days off and an encouragement to FU with your PCP if the pain dosen't improve- you get a nasty note threatening your job since you obviously violated company policy and hurt yourself lifting a patient. " It obviously wouldn't have happened if you had used proper "Body Mechanics"!!!
  3. by   Bat Lady
    Seems to me that when I started out in nursing 30 years ago there were not quite so many utterly humongous patients out there as there are now. I'm talking about the 400 lb.+ ones that I encountered in my later career. I spent most of the latter years of my career in critical care and step-down and there were way too many of them, and a lot of them DID NOT MOVE by themselves. In the years when I did travel nursing, I worked in one hospital that had pretty darn good lifting policies, with a lot of mechanical lifting and other patient moving equipment, and another that actually had a turn team, although they went home at 11 pm and left us night folks to do the best we could. Other than that, it was same old, same old. ICUs in a lot of hospitals, at least, are going to the beds that have built-in lift/scales, which are pretty great. Unfortunately, on step-down, it's same old, same old. And then you encounter the occasional one-upper. In my last permanent job I worked with a nurse (female) who was a body-builder. Now I am a small person and reasonably strong for my size, but I am not shy about asking for help moving a patient if I think I need it; it's why I still have a back at all! She, however, never asked for help so didn't think I should either, and if I did, she would either not show up or take her time about it and then do the exasperated sigh thing, which was guaranteed to make me wish I hadn't asked her at all. Nobody else I worked with on that unit was ever like that.
  4. by   nursel56
    I agree with that observation, Jay. I'm not aware of any specific studies on it, but most of us who have been around for long enough to observe trends like that have seen it.
  5. by   JenMacBSN
    I know this was posted about a year ago, but I hope you will respond. What are the blue sheets you mentioned? Are they disposable and do you think they are helpful? Thank you.
  6. by   SunnyPupRN
    “Nursing students, when looking for job, should ask about safe patient and mobility programs,” Dr. Powell-Cope offers."

    You will probably talk yourself right out of a job! Why not ask about safe pt ratios while you're in that interview?
    I know it's very important, and maybe things will change if nursing students start making these demands. Our safety has been a long time coming, but for too many generations of nurses, our health has given way to a culture of being Super-nurse, and competition, and if you aren't working long and tired with aching feet, you aren't doing your part.
    Hopefully this kind of research will help bring a kinder, gentler culture to nursing.
  7. by   nutella
    It all boils down to the fact that most facilities do not want to invest money into lifting equipment. There are some options out there and new buildings really should have ceiling lifts in the areas that require frequent lifting including the critical care areas, neurology/neurosurgery and so on. There are also lifts that are for patients who are somewhat mobile like

    Sabina<sup>(R)</sup> 2 Mobile Lift |

    The hoyer comes in newer editions, there are special lifts for bariatric patients including some that hover over the bed like a frame and usually need to be rented. There is special equipment to lift a patient from the floor up and so on and forth. It is all available but facilities do not want to spend the money. And healthcare workers often are reluctant to use them because they feel it is faster to "just lift".
    I have been to assisted living facilities as a hospice nurse that do not allow hoyer lifters and instead basically tell the aids to lift up the patient - that is totally crazy IMO.
  8. by   Koshea61
    I started nursing in 1984 I have been a nurse working since then. I have a bad back but no surgeries or serious injuries. We didn't use lifts unless it was impossible for 4 people to get the patient up. When you are putting someone immobile on the commode the lifts are hard to work with. I think lufthe teams sound like the best idea. I am out of hospital nursing after 27th yrs of it
    Now in school nursing. No more lifting.
  9. by   beekee
    I was told in nursing school that "proper body mechanics" is a fallacy. My first job was in a no lift facility. Every room had a track in the ceiling. Unfortunately, no one priced out the equipment that would use that track. Alas, we were a no lift facility with no equipment to help with the lifts. Since it usually takes a long time for these injuries to appear, the facilities don't worry too much about workers comp. plus, an injury that takes years or decades to appear is probably pretty easy to pin on something non-work related. So, facilities continue to blame the nurses for the injuries. It's cheaper than proper staffing or lift equipment.