In the field of nursing, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as back and shoulder injuries, persist as the leading and most costly U.S. occupational health problem (Nelson et al., 2009). A large body of evidence indicates that a substantial number of work-related MSDs reported by nurses are due to the cumulative effect of repeated manual patient-handling activities and work done in extreme static awkward postures. In a list of at-risk occupations for musculoskeletal disorders in 2007, nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants ranked first in incidence rate with a case rate of 252 cases per 10,000 workers, a rate seven times the national MSD average for all occupations. Emergency medical personnel ranked second, followed by laborers and material movers, ticket agents and travel clerks, and light and heavy truck drivers among the top six at-risk occupations [Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2009]. The nursing occupation also typically ranks in the top ten in yearly incidence rate of sprain and strain injuries. In most industries MSD injury rates have declined in recent years, yet MSD rates for nurses in the healthcare industry have not declined during the same period.
The training program has four main objectives:
1. Provide evidence-based training on SPH to instructors at schools of nursing so that they can teach SPH methods to students.
2. Ensure that the training is sound and that the curriculum is effective in improving the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of the students.
3. Provide a full range of educational tools nursing educators can use to increase effectiveness of the training program.
4. Encourage all nursing educators at schools of nursing to use the evidence-based, safe-patient-handling curriculum module and recommended laboratory activities for nurse training.
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