How do you protect your back health?

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by Silas Silas Member

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nickos

nickos

170 Posts

I think there's a lot of good advice here. I hope mine is useful as well! I know sometimes these things aren't possible, but whenever you can:

-always have EVERYTHING ready when you know you are going to have to lift/reposition/transfer anyone. Nonskid footwear for everyone involved, all supplies within arm's reach but out of the way, know your path/make sure nothing is in your way (furniture, cords, wheelchair footrests, etc)

-always have HELP

-use proper body mechanics

-wear good shoes- no open backs, good arch support, good grips!

Congratulations and good luck! :)

Hoozdo, ADN

Specializes in ICU, Research, Corrections. Has 15 years experience. 1,554 Posts

Good advice, everyone of them Don't forget to raise the bed to waist level.Why bend, if you can aviod it?

I second this. It is the most important factor for me. Many nurses say I am "anal" about it. If I don't do it, it DOES hurt my back. Most of my pts are complete dead weight and I am not about to spend 12+ hours bent over!

chenoaspirit

chenoaspirit, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Home Health. 1,010 Posts

I just had surgery on my C spine, had ACDF surgery. Please use proper body mechanics and always have help when lifting someone. Dont try to do it alone. Always try to have a draw sheet under every patient to pull them up in bed. Use a hoyer lift whenever you can.

Exercise regularly to stay in shape and keep your muscles strong. But the MAIN THING is to ALWAYS USE PROPER BODY MECHANICS WHEN LIFTING ANYTHING. Im scared to death I will end up damaging my back even more. I hurt my lumbar spine about 2 years ago while improperly lifting a patient, now my c spine is fused due to ruptured discs. Once you mess up your back, its usually never the same again. So BE CAREFUL!!!!

wsp4905

wsp4905

Specializes in Student LPN. Has 3 years experience. 45 Posts

Work in NICU.

LOL:D

CNA2day

CNA2day

197 Posts

I lift with my legs only. I do not do things if I think they will hurt me. I use the lifts on the patients if I do not feel comfortable lifting them. I wear a back brace to work as I have a previous back injury. I bend from my knees even if bending down to pick up something like a piece of paper off the floor!

If you have ever seriously hurt your back to the point of no relief you learn how to move without making it anyworse. I am so thankful it is not as bad as it once was but I am terified of making it hurt again so i am VERY VERY careful!

BigBee48

BigBee48

Specializes in ICU,IV Team, Endoscopy, CM, LTC, Homecar. Has 18 years experience. 52 Posts

Please remember, it can still happen. I used proper body mechanics, was anal about always having a drawsheet under patients, and having help. Even when we had bariatric patients, using lifts and making them (as much as they could) do it themselves. I have had cervical fusion, lumbar fusion & 3 different compression fractures, spondyllothesis (sp?), also ruptured discs, and 2 vertrabrae w/no disc material between them. Anyway I'm thinking I will have both my children thoroughly checked out by spinal specialist, before they go out in the work force. And they've been told not to do alot of heavy lifting for now. I know freaked out, but I thought I would be fine.

Up2nogood RN

Up2nogood RN, RN

Specializes in pulm/cardiology pcu, surgical onc. 860 Posts

I worked many years as a CNA and med aide before they invented the neat concept of beds that raise up. It's def taken it's toll, what's helped me the most is pilates and being conscious of form. I think I've heard that of ALL occupations nurses have the highest rate of on the job injuries in the US.

strawbrykiwi

strawbrykiwi

Has 3 years experience. 16 Posts

Aside from getting/staying in shape, getting help with moving patients, using the machines for all lifting... the biggest thing that has helped me-- is to move the beds up to do patient care! I now work in a hospital with beds that work-- and when they dont.... THEY GET FIXED!!!! This was amazing to me, and my back has been extremely grateful! :)

psychonaut

psychonaut

275 Posts

Work in NICU.

I am recovering from several weeks off due to back pain. Not necessarily a work-related injury, but...the patients may be light, but the giraffes/isollettes/warmers aren't, as I'm sure you remember.

Hi everyone,

I am a nursing student who just landed a job as a CNA and am worried about keeping my back healthy with all the lifting, turning, etc. What measures do you take to keep your back healthy? Besides adherence to form, does any do exercise, yoga, or sleep certain ways to make sure they are able to keep working?

Thanks!

Google "Stuart McGill", a scientist who specializing in low back pain. He has done exhaustive studies on back pain, and following his recommendations (which are based on physiology and EMG studies, no voodoo) has made a huge difference in my recuperation.

psychonaut

psychonaut

275 Posts

Work in NICU.

I am recovering from several weeks off due to back pain. Not necessarily a work-related injury, but...the patients may be light, but the giraffes/isollettes/warmers aren't, as I'm sure you remember.

Hi everyone,

I am a nursing student who just landed a job as a CNA and am worried about keeping my back healthy with all the lifting, turning, etc. What measures do you take to keep your back healthy? Besides adherence to form, does any do exercise, yoga, or sleep certain ways to make sure they are able to keep working?

Thanks!

Google "Stuart McGill", a scientist who specializes in low back pain. He has done exhaustive studies on back pain, and following his recommendations (which are based on physiology and EMG studies, no voodoo) has made a huge difference in my recuperation.

massrn116

massrn116

117 Posts

Sleep number bed, swear by it