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Lifting patients a common cause of injury in health care

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2020 | Workers' Compensation

You may find that working in an Arizona hospital, nursing home or doctor’s office is rewarding. You may also find that aches, pains and ailments come with the territory. As a nurse, nurse’s assistant, a hospital porter or someone who holds a similar health care role, you may recognize that some of the biggest injury risks you face result from lifting and moving patients.

Per Healthcare Business & Technology, lifting-related injuries are the biggest physical threat to today’s nurses. Nurses, alone, experience more than 35,000 such injuries annually that keep them from coming to work. Your injury risks are so high when you make your living as a nurse that you face a higher injury risk working in your profession than you would working in a factory or on a construction site.

Lifting is hard on the body

Lifting heavy patients has the potential to wreak havoc on your body even when you follow all recommended lifting procedures. Safety protocols advise that you lift things that are close to your body, but this is often impossible in health care settings, where the patients you must move are often in bed.

Many health care employers also encourage team lifting to better disperse the weight of heavy patients. However, chronic understaffing issues in nursing homes make team lifting difficult in many work settings.

Investing in lift-assistance equipment

Health care employers that focus on reducing lifting-related injuries may find that purchasing lift-assistance equipment is one effective way to do so. This equipment helps move patients without you having to support their entire weight, but its high price tag prevents many employers from using it.