Safe-Patient Handling

AALTCN Long Term Care Safety Manual

now available - click here for more information

Facts you need to know

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nursing home staff are twice as likely as other workers to be injured on the job and that many of these injuries are serious ones.
  • Nursing ranks among the top 10 most hazardous occupations for injuries to muscles and joints.
  • Of nurses who leave the profession, 12% leave due to back pain. 48% of nurses complain of chronic back pain but only 35% have reported the injury.
  • The cumulative weight lifted by a health caregiver in a typical eight hour day is 1.8 tons.
  • Last year over 71,000 nurses suffered a back injury – but these are only the injuries that can be directly traced to work.
  • Nursing assistants have a rate of musculoskeletal injuries (injuries to the muscles and bones) that is seven times higher than for workers in other fields.
  • Of all the ways that the back can be injured during work activities, heavy lifting is the most significant cause of back pain. There are some basic principles to keep in mind to protect yourself from back pain. These include: 
    • Keep your body in good alignment with the curves of your back in natural position.
    • Avoid twisting your body as you perform tasks.
    • Keep the weight you are trying to lift or move near your center of gravity.
    • Have a wide base of support by keeping your feet apart.
  • For more information, refer to the Nursing Assistant Educator Protect Your Back.

Advocacy Groups

Coalition for Healthcare Workers & Patient Safety—CHAPS
Work Injured Nurses Group- WING -

Safe Patient Handling Conference

Proposed Legislation

CE Education

Nursing Assistant Educator Topics

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