4imprint, LLC

Avoiding back injuries
As health care workers, it’s your duty to care for the well-being of others. That doesn’t mean though you should overlook your own health or well-being. Strained backs, sore necks, aching knees are all common hazards of the job that can impede your ability to be efficient in your care for others, your colleagues and yourself.According to the Canadian Labour Force Survey, nurses lose more work hours due to illness and injury than any other major occupational group in Canada. Additionally, the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers reports that a Canadian study monitoring the health of nurses found that 90% of the participants named musculoskeletal disorders (or MSDs) as a major health concern for nurses. This condition is often the result of lifting, transferring and repositioning of patients, and the use of awkward postures.

In another study, almost 25% of nurses reported that pain had impacted their ability to carry out their nursing duties. It’s clear that preventing injuries and preserving the health of our clinicians, as well as other important positions in health care, must be a priority.

Moving patients and the physical work is all part of the job, but there are steps that can and should be taken to prevent injury. Consider these tips:

  • Know your health care organization’s back injury guidelines
    Many hospitals and clinics have guidelines in place that advise employees on how to prevent back injury. Some even provide seminars and workshops that aim to promote back care among employees. Find out what your facility has to offer and take advantage of these opportunities—your back will thank you. If programs like these do not yet exist within your organization, rally support to offer them. Build awareness with other staff members by distributing e-mails, flyers or memos and offer a tangible takeaway, like an ergonomic pen or back massager.
  • Create lift teams
    Work as a team to accomplish more, safely. Research has found that having more than one nurse lift, shift and/or transfer a patient can reduce injury.
  • Avoid repetitive or prolonged movements and rest often
    A leading cause of MSDs, repetitive movements should be avoided. While it’s true that moving patients laterally and turning patients every day is repetitive and unavoidable, it is important for nursing staff to somehow be able to take rest periods after doing these repetitive motions within a short period of time. Similarly, avoid holding equipment or positions for long periods of time without rest.
  • Remember to bend at the knees
    Bending to wash patients, pick up equipment, adjust beds and tray tables and so on is part of every day life in the health care world. When possible, squat down, keeping the back straight, and lift up using the legs; this will help prevent strain on the lower back. OSHA offers great posters to display in employee work areas that illustrate the safest ways to lift boxes and heavy equipment—consider requesting one today.
  • Never underestimate a pair of good shoes
    Good shoes with good support and soft soles will help ease back pain, leg pain and foot pain. Many are nonslip, too, which can prevent falls that lead to serious injury, too. Remind staff of the importance of foot care in preventing back injuries by offering gel shoe inserts or fun running shoe key tags.
  • Encourage mindful behaviour
    Reward fellow teammates for practicing safe lifting, reviewing back injury guidelines and demonstrating leadership in forming lift teams. Offer them recognition in printed newsletters along with a token of appreciation, like a personalized ceramic mug or zippered tote.

Protecting yourself and your staff from back injuries is sure to minimize incidents while ensuring the utmost of care for patients. Take a few moments to review and communicate your back injury guidelines and safety tips today.

Healthcare Workers Patient Handling.Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. Web. 07 April 2011.

Dr Linda O’Brien-Pallas. “Health Human Resources in Nursing: The Research and the Reality.CHSRF/ CIHR National Chair in Nursing/ Health Human Resources Research Symposium. Web. 07 April 2011.

Asian Heritage Month
National Asthma Awareness Month
Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
Blood Pressure Month
Car Care Month
Celiac Awareness Month
Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
Community Living Month
Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month
International Doula Month
Hemochromatosis Awareness Month
Huntington Disease Awareness Month
MedicAlert Month
MS Awareness Month
Museum Month
National Physiotherapy Month (April 24-May 24)
Red Shield Month
Sexual Abuse/Assault Prevention Month
Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month
Vision Health Month 
Allergy Awareness Week: 1st Week
Drinking Water Week: 1st Week
Education Week (April 28 – May 2)
Emergency Preparedness Week: 1st Week
Hospice Palliative Care Week: 1st Week
International Youth Week: 1st Week
National Composting Awareness Week: 1st Week
Spinal Health Week: 1st Week
National Mental Health Week: 1st Week
National Kids Day: 1st Week
Esophageal Cancer Awareness Week: 2nd Week
Family Caregiver Week: 2nd Week
Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Week: 2nd Week
National Nursing Week: 2nd Week
National Police Week: 2nd Week
North American Occupational Health and Safety Week: 2nd Week
Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week: 2nd Week
National Astronomy Week: 5-10
Safe Boating Week: 3rd Week
National Road Safety Week: 3rd Week
National VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) Week: 3rd Week
National Access Awareness Week: 4th Week
National Sun Awareness Week: 4th Week
National Water Safety Week: 4th Week
Aboriginal Awareness Week: 22-25
1: World Press Freedom Day
5: International Day of the Midwife
6: World Asthma Day
8: International Thalassemia Day
8: World Red Cross Day
10: National Astronomy Day
10: World Lupus Day
12: International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
12: Canada Health Day
12: International Nurses Day
14: World Fair Trade Day
15: International Day of Families
17: Interational Day Against Homophobia
18: International Museums Day
21: World Day for Cultural Development
25: National Missing Children’s Day
25: World MS Day
28: National Multiple Births Awareness Day
29: Active Healthy Kids Day
31: World No-Tobacco Day
ALS Awareness Month
Brain Injury Awareness Month
Child Passenger Safety Month
Deaf-Blind Awareness Month
National Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month
Recreation and Parks Month
Seniors’ Month
Thyroid Awareness Month 
National Sun Awareness Week: 1st Week
National Tourism Week: 1st Week
Semaine québécoise des personnes handicapées: 1st Week
Canadian Environment Week: May 30 – June 5
Rivers to Oceans Week: 8-13
1: Hunger Awareness Day
1: Intergenerational Day
4: Clean Air Day
4: National Big Sisters Day
5: National Cancer Survivors Day
5: World Environment Day
8: Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion Day
14: World Blood Donor Day
15: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
19: Fathers Day
20: World Refugee Day
21: ALS/MND Global Awareness Day
21: National Aboriginal Day
27: Canadian Multiculturalism Day
29: World Industrial Design Day
30: Social Media Day
Submit your review

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews

Hot Products

Shop 4imprint's Hottest Products!

Shop Now

Sale Products

Shop 4imprint's Sale Products!

Shop Now

New Products

Shop 4imprint's Newest Products!

Shop Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *