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Save your back, do powerlifting

Nurses   (1,028 Views | 20 Replies)

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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IDK, I'm getting a very weird humble-brag vibe from this unsolicited PSA. It doesn't help when the OP is on other forums writing things like

41 minutes ago, JackdLPN said:

Tell that to all my coworkers, I'm sure they love some eye candy at work.  Cant help it when I put 1000s of reps in the gym each month. After a 12-13 hour shift I dont just sit around on my *** at home complaining about work, I take my *** to the gym

Yes, obviously being fit with help you with the physicality of this job. However, placing the blame for injuries squarely on injured nurses overlooks a lot of the system-wide problems that can make safe lifting a challenge, like inadequate resources and the staffing to use those resources. As @K+MgSO4 pointed out, our patients may be kicking, grabbing, or falling, all of which dumbells can't do. It's great that you've found a system that works for you, but even as the strongest guy on the block, you're going to be SOL if you're trying to move a 500-lb patient alone because you don't have the staff or equipment to back you up.

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10 minutes ago, adventure_rn said:

IDK, I'm getting a very weird humble-brag vibe from this unsolicited PSA. It doesn't help when the OP is on other forums writing things like

Yes, obviously being fit with help you with the physicality of this job. However, placing the blame for injuries squarely on injured nurses overlooks a lot of the system-wide problems that can make safe lifting a challenge, like inadequate resources and the staffing to use those resources. As @K+MgSO4 pointed out, our patients may be kicking, grabbing, or falling, all of which dumbells can't do. It's great that you've found a system that works for you, but even as the strongest guy on the block, you're going to be SOL if you're trying to move a 500-lb patient alone because you don't have the staff or equipment to back you up.

I have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.  And yes I do have a humble brag vibe online but I dont do that in real life at work I am humble, professional, and quiet.  And yes I do realize the patients may exhibit those behaviors.

 

People did bring up that having the best equipment around is the best policy but like you said we may not have the staff or equipment to back you up.  Being strong and fit as nurses should be as an example to your patients and will help you when short staffed or no equipment.

 

No one ever said strength is a weakness.  No one ever said being healthy and fit is bad for you either.

Edited by JackdLPN

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A little full of ourselves, are we, OP?

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Quote

People did bring up that having the best equipment around is the best policy but like you said we may not have the staff or equipment to back you up.

What would be really cool was if you were in good shape (as some others here are as well) but also put your foot down appropriately. You know, kind of an "I'm in good shape but I'm not stupid" sort of thing.

I guarantee your job requirements do not say that you need to be able to lift 150, 200 lbs. We should be able to perform according to our job description. Beyond that, that's what machines and extra sets of muscles are for. IANAPM. I am not a people mover. I have never had a back injury at work, but one day when I was holding up a load probably twice my body weight, I just decided that was the last time. And it was.

Get your peers involved and change the atmosphere. Go help people when you see they're about to do something they shouldn't be doing and say, "Take care of your back, you need more help for this. Let me get a couple more people; BRB." Etc. Pretty soon people will 💡get on board with not single-handedly lifting, pushing, pulling, dragging and scooting awkward loads 100, 200, 300, 400 lbs. The number of times people are doing these things and there isn't even an emergency of any kind...nah, that is just dumb.

It is not okay for a workplace to not have the proper tools to move the loads that need to be moved and to rely upon knowing that we gluttons for punishment will simply martyr on, serving as the people-moving machines that the employer didn't want to spend money on.

You could choose to use your strong physique for lots of other people's good, if you wanted to...Be a strong one who demands a change. Then, along with your exercise/health routines,  you'll have a chance of your back being good for a long time. 👍🏽

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K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

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3 hours ago, JackdLPN said:

 

I never ever see this topic come up but I see more nurses and nurse aides dropping out because of back pain and they are not even 40 yet!

I am 6ft tall and have other issues outside of nursing that have damaged my back.  I slipped in the shower and did significant damage to the left side of my back.  I am working through it with physio.

 

Back pain occurs for a multitude of reasons, not just a bad lift.  ( also we should not be lifting!).  One staff member of mine was in a bank robbery and thrown over a counter- that damaged her back, another who was super fit got knocked off his bicycle has 2 stuffed shoulders.  Women post pregnancy can have issues, traumatic births, C section etc. Pregnancy puts a significant amount of stress on the back.  What about an MVA? Cancer? Auto immune illness?  Endometriosis? 

 

Your perspective is skewed in your desire to tout your beliefs.  Back pain is multi faceted and can occur for a number of reasons other than what I feel your implying is fat, lazy nurses. 

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I think OP has a good point and did not intend to undermine the need for safe patient handling practices and equipment in the workplace. Of course, not all nurses need to be nor can be powerlifters. There IS a body of research to supports even limited resistance training as an effective measure to reduce injury risk. People develop musculoskeletal disorders just from sitting at a desk all day long. Researchers suggest that nurses are at the greatest risk among all health care workers to develop work-related injuries (Davis & Kotowski, 2015). Although I suspect EMS/ medics are up there with nursing.

Although my personal experience is anecdotal, strength training has helped with lower back pain. I started working in LTC when I was 17 and knew I was too young to be waking up with back pain. Numerous coworkers on leave for back injuries, hip replacements. NOT OKAY. After a couple of years, I left this LTC facility for an acute care setting. I was tired of shortcuts and being asked to roll patients three times my weight without assistance because "other people had no problem rolling them with an assist of one." I digress. 

This post is a great opportunity to discuss workplace safety. It is disappointing that it takes workplace injuries for change to occur. I am happy to report that I see more mechanical lifts being used and specialty beds that reposition patients. The training and equipment matters, but I think having a culture of safety is what matters most. Does management look for solutions to reduce injury risk? Is staffing appropriate? Are people willing to take the "extra time" it requires to move patient's safety and utilize equipment that is available? Are nurses encouraged to put their foot down when something seems unsafe? 

 

Edited by elephantlover

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dianah has 45 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology.

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Here is an example of a policy.  A web search for Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) will provide others.

http://www.premiersafetyinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ergo-guide-pt-02.pdf

Our facility has seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of back injuries (which cost the facility in time, money, and cause frustration and pain for the person involved, who is out of work and possibly facing long-term disability!) since implementation of this policy.

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15 hours ago, elephantlover said:

I think OP has a good point and did not intend to undermine the need for safe patient handling practices and equipment in the workplace. Of course, not all nurses need to be nor can be powerlifters. There IS a body of research to supports even limited resistance training as an effective measure to reduce injury risk. People develop musculoskeletal disorders just from sitting at a desk all day long. Researchers suggest that nurses are at the greatest risk among all health care workers to develop work-related injuries (Davis & Kotowski, 2015). Although I suspect EMS/ medics are up there with nursing.

Although my personal experience is anecdotal, strength training has helped with lower back pain. I started working in LTC when I was 17 and knew I was too young to be waking up with back pain. Numerous coworkers on leave for back injuries, hip replacements. NOT OKAY. After a couple of years, I left this LTC facility for an acute care setting. I was tired of shortcuts and being asked to roll patients three times my weight without assistance because "other people had no problem rolling them with an assist of one." I digress. 

This post is a great opportunity to discuss workplace safety. It is disappointing that it takes workplace injuries for change to occur. I am happy to report that I see more mechanical lifts being used and specialty beds that reposition patients. The training and equipment matters, but I think having a culture of safety is what matters most. Does management look for solutions to reduce injury risk? Is staffing appropriate? Are people willing to take the "extra time" it requires to move patient's safety and utilize equipment that is available? Are nurses encouraged to put their foot down when something seems unsafe? 

 

This post was exactly on point! thanks for sharing

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I never saw this coming from someone with the handle "JackdLPN".

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