Safe Patient Handling and Movement: A Guide for Nurses and Other Health Care Providers. Nelson AL, ed., NY: Springer Publishing Company, Inc., 2006 Jan; :3-26
Since most schools of nursing continue to teach manual patient handling methods, and nurses tend to practice what they were taught in school, a paradigm shift is necessary to change the way patients are lifted and transferred. Because nursing homes and hospitals are beginning to implement ergonomics programs on a widespread basis in the United States, some nursing personnel have modified their patient lifting work practices. With the collaborative assistance of the nursing licensure boards and schools of nursing, this book can be a stimulus for changing the way patient lifting and the biomechanics of lifting patients are taught to nursing students. Although musculoskeletal injury rates to nursing personnel vary by age, gender, length of employment, and job title, prevention strategies should provide protection for all nursing personnel regardless of age, height, or other pre-disposing factors. A body of research has been accumulating that supports a multi-faceted approach to reducing the risk of patient handling injuries to caregivers. Teaching professionals need to replace manual patient handling methods taught in outdated biomechanical classes with the SPHM principles presented in the following chapters. These principles include ergonomic assessments of patient handling activities, patient assessment and use of algorithms, redesigning patient lifting tasks by utilizing new patient handling technology, use of unit-based peer safety leaders, and administrative support in the context of a SPHM program. With a SPHM program, nursing care providers can enjoy the rewards of their work free from pain and injury.