Back Injury to Healthcare Workers: Causes, Solutions, and Impacts

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Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently calculated nearly 60,000 musculoskeletal injuries to healthcare workers resulting from heavy lifting during attempts to move patients. Often the nurses, aides, orderlies, and attendants who suffered permanent injuries were forced out of the profession, straining an already inadequate pool of workers and wasting valuable knowledge and ability.

Back Injury Among Healthcare Workers: Causes, Solutions, and Impacts presents the latest research on this topic from an epidemiological point of view. The book highlights case studies from actual injured workers, along with analysis of how this problem is being addressed around the world.

This in-depth study also discusses the legal and rehabilitative obstacles to returning to work, and suggests new policies for the safe lifting and moving of patients. The editors compile recommended solutions from leading names in the field, detailing how healthcare facilities can create safe work environments to prevent disabling back injuries.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Shirley E. Van Zandt, MS, MPH, CRNP (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This books intends to highlight and educate healthcare workers about their risk for job-related musculoskeletal injuries, especially of the back. By providing data on the risk and its impact on the shortage of available healthcare workers, the authors have brought attention to an extremely common work-related injury. They have provided detail about available technology to prevent back injuries, and through personal stories of injured nurses, provide compelling arguments for changing to "zero lift" policies in healthcare organizations and in future legislation.
Purpose: The editors intend to bring attention to the significant problem of workplace back injuries of healthcare workers. They hope to impact healthcare legislation by educating workers about this risk and the correlation between injury and the increasing shortage of healthcare workers, especially nurses. They believe that the shortage of workers is related to an increasing number of workers being disabled by back injuries, which remove them from the available pool of workers. The editors have chosen a topic that is worthy of attention and may relate to the shortage of workers. The book is convincing and offers solutions to this significant problem.
Audience: The book is written for all healthcare workers who provide direct physical care to patients. The primary focus is on nurses and the book has 19 personal stories of back-injured nurses. The book has direct appeal for anyone who has had a musculoskeletal work-related injury. It is doubtful that workers who are aware of the risk but do not feel particularly vulnerable will be drawn to the book. The editors and chapter authors provide excellent credible information for the interested reader. They have obvious expertise in the areas of injury, ergonomics, and available technology.
Features: The book provides information on the magnitude of back injuries of healthcare workers and its impact on the healthcare industry, the mechanics of back injuries, technologies and workplace policies that would prevent injuries and the personal stories of multiple injured nurses. The book provides excellent information on the available methods for lifting and moving patients that could prevent injuries, including many pictures and diagrams of this equipment. It provides a thorough review of the cost of injuries and the benefits of prevention to the industry. The greatest shortcoming of the book is that those at most risk for injuries and those in the healthcare industry most likely to improve policy to prevent injury may not be attracted to the book.
Assessment: This book provides excellent in-depth information about the risk of back injury and its impact on workers and the healthcare industry. It provides excellent detail about the problem for the reader wishing to understand this problem, but it does not appeal to all readers, even those most at risk. The use of injured nurses' stories does provide convincing evidence of the importance of this topic to all healthcare workers, especially nurses.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Shirley E. Van Zandt, MS, MPH, CRNP (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This books intends to highlight and educate healthcare workers about their risk for job-related musculoskeletal injuries, especially of the back. By providing data on the risk and its impact on the shortage of available healthcare workers, the authors have brought attention to an extremely common work-related injury. They have provided detail about available technology to prevent back injuries, and through personal stories of injured nurses, provide compelling arguments for changing to "zero lift" policies in healthcare organizations and in future legislation.
Purpose: The editors intend to bring attention to the significant problem of workplace back injuries of healthcare workers. They hope to impact healthcare legislation by educating workers about this risk and the correlation between injury and the increasing shortage of healthcare workers, especially nurses. They believe that the shortage of workers is related to an increasing number of workers being disabled by back injuries, which remove them from the available pool of workers. The editors have chosen a topic that is worthy of attention and may relate to the shortage of workers. The book is convincing and offers solutions to this significant problem.
Audience: The book is written for all healthcare workers who provide direct physical care to patients. The primary focus is on nurses and the book has 19 personal stories of back-injured nurses. The book has direct appeal for anyone who has had a musculoskeletal work-related injury. It is doubtful that workers who are aware of the risk but do not feel particularly vulnerable will be drawn to the book. The editors and chapter authors provide excellent credible information for the interested reader. They have obvious expertise in the areas of injury, ergonomics, and available technology.
Features: The book provides information on the magnitude of back injuries of healthcare workers and its impact on the healthcare industry, the mechanics of back injuries, technologies and workplace policies that would prevent injuries and the personal stories of multiple injured nurses. The book provides excellent information on the available methods for lifting and moving patients that could prevent injuries, including many pictures and diagrams of this equipment. It provides a thorough review of the cost of injuries and the benefits of prevention to the industry. The greatest shortcoming of the book is that those at most risk for injuries and those in the healthcare industry most likely to improve policy to prevent injury may not be attracted to the book.
Assessment: This book provides excellent in-depth information about the risk of back injury and its impact on workers and the healthcare industry. It provides excellent detail about the problem for the reader wishing to understand this problem, but it does not appeal to all readers, even those most at risk. The use of injured nurses' stories does provide convincing evidence of the importance of this topic to all healthcare workers, especially nurses.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566706315
  • Publisher: CRC Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 998,455
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: History and Vision for Work Injured Nurses Group USA
Magnitude of the Problem
A Word About the Stories
Injured Nurse Story #1: Betrayal in the Temple of Healing
Injured Nurse Story #2: Preventable
Biodynamics of Back Injury: Manual Lifting and Loads
Injured Nurse Story #3: Who Will Care for the Nurses?
How to Accomplish a Responsible Cost-Benefit Injury Analysis in the Health Care Industry
Injured Nurse Story #4: My Last Day as a CNA
Striving for Zero-Lift in Healthcare Facilities
Injured Nurse Story #5: The First to Go
Injured Nurse Story #6: My Heart is Still There
Introducing A Safer Patient Handling Policy
Injured Nurse Story #7: I Won't Be There
Injured Nurse Story #8: Fine When I Entered The Room
Injured Nurse Story #9: They Let Me Go
Injured Nurse Story #10: In Pain and Out of Work
Prevention of Back Injury Using Lift Teams: 18 Hospital Data
Injured Nurse Story #11: After Years of Service
Injured Nurse Story #12: The Tub Bath
Technology for Safe Patient Handling and Movement
Injured Nurse Story #13: Is That What A Nurse Is?
Bariatrics: Considering Mobility, Patient Safety, and Caregiver Injury
Injured Nurse Story #14: Wake Up Call
Participatory Ergonomic Design in Healthcare Facilities
Designing Workplaces for Safer Handling of Patients/Residents
Injured Nurse Story #15: A Nurse's Story
Worker Control: The Best Means to Reduce Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
Injured Nurse Story #16: The Writing on the Wall
The Relationship Between the Nursing Shortage and Nursing Injury
Preventing Back Injuries to Healthcare Workers in British Columbia, Canada and The Ceiling Lift Experience and Data
Injured Nurse Story #17: An Advocate for the Ill, Injured, or Disabled Nurse: It Started With One
Injured Nurse Story #18: More Valuable Than Machines
Injured Nurse Story #19: The Victoria, Australia Story
Appendix 1: Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders
Appendix 2A: Frequently Asked Questions About Portable Total Body Patient/Resident Lifts
Appendix 2B: Frequently Asked Questions About Sit-to-Stand Patient/Resident Devices

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