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From The CriticsReviewer: 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.