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Lifting patients a frequent cause of injury among nurses

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2023 | Workplace Injuries

Nursing is a noble profession that demands compassion, dedication and hard work. However, there is considerable physical strain involved in patient care.

Lifting and transferring patients is a common task for nurses, but it can lead to significant lifting-related injuries. These injuries have substantial consequences for both nurses and the healthcare system.

Prevalence of lifting-related injuries

Lifting-related injuries among nurses are widespread. Nursing personnel frequently encounter situations where they need to move or lift patients. Over time, the cumulative strain on their bodies can result in a variety of injuries. Sprains, strains and musculoskeletal disorders are the most common types of injuries that nurses experience. These injuries often affect the back, shoulders and neck due to the physical demands of patient handling.

Consequences of lifting-related injuries

Lifting-related injuries can lead to chronic pain and discomfort for nurses. The daily strain on their bodies can result in backaches, muscle soreness and joint pain. This physical discomfort can impact their quality of life and make it challenging to perform their duties effectively.

Injured nurses may also need to take time off work to recover, leading to reduced work productivity and increased workload for their colleagues. This can create additional stress and strain on the health care system, which is already grappling with staffing shortages. Severe lifting-related injuries can also jeopardize a nurse’s career. A nurse may be unable to continue in a profession they are passionate about, leading to emotional and financial consequences.

Lifting-related injuries also result in increased health care costs due to medical treatment, rehabilitation and lost work hours. These costs ultimately affect the health care system’s efficiency and resources.

The World Health Organization reports that more than 70% of nurses experience chronic low back pain, and that lifting patients is a frequent contributor to that pain. To reduce lifting-related injuries among nurses, health care facilities should invest in training and equipment designed that reduces the physical strain on nurses during patient handling.