Nurses work on the front lines of the health system, providing critical care to patients daily. However, the job’s physical demands, including lifting and moving patients, can take a toll on their bodies. Nursing is one of the top professions for work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
To prevent injuries like sprains and strains or more serious conditions like herniated discs, nurses should implement safe lifting practices to help reduce health risks.
1. Use assistive devices.
Many assistive devices exist on the market that can help nurses lift and move patients safely, such as slide sheets, mechanical lifts and gait belts. These devices can help reduce the amount of lifting and strain on the body.
2. Use property lifting techniques.
Use proper lifting techniques when moving patients, including keeping the load close to the body, squatting instead of kneeling, using the legs to lift rather than the back and keeping the spine straight. It is also a good idea to ask for help if the patient is too heavy to lift solo.
3. Take breaks and stretch.
Nurses who spend long periods lifting and moving patients can reduce their risk of injury by taking frequent breaks and stretching. This can help reduce muscle fatigue and prevent strains and sprains.
4. Stay in good physical condition.
Nurses in good physical condition are less likely to suffer from lifting injuries. Engaging in regular exercise, drinking plenty of water and maintaining a healthy diet can help muscles stay strong and healthy.
5. Follow safe lifting policies.
Many hospitals and healthcare facilities have policies to help reduce lifting injuries. Nurses need to follow these policies and procedures to ensure their own safety and the safety of their patients.
By following these tips, nurses can reduce their risk of lifting injuries and stay safe on the job.