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Occupational injuries among aides and nurses in acute care.
Rodríguez-Acosta RL; Richardson DB; Lipscomb HJ; Chen JC; Dement JM; Myers DJ; Loomis DP
Am J Ind Med 2009 Dec; 52(12):953-964
BACKGROUND: Occupational injuries are common among nursing personnel. Most epidemiologic research on nursing aides comes from long-term care settings. Reports from acute care settings often combine data on nurses and aides even though their job requirements and personal characteristics are quite different. Our objective was to assess risk of work-related injuries in an acute care setting while contrasting injuries of aides and nurses. METHODS: A retrospective cohort of aides (n = 1,689) and nurses (n = 5,082) working in acute care at a large healthcare system between 1997 and 2004 were identified via personnel records. Workers' compensation filings were used to ascertain occupational injuries. Poisson regression was used to estimate rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). RESULTS: Aides had higher overall injury rates than nurses for no-lost work time (RR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.1-1.3) and lost work time (RR = 2.8, 95% CI: 2.1-3.8) injuries. The risk of an injury due to lifting was greater among aides compared to nurses for both non-lost work time and lost work time injuries. Injury rates among aides were particularly high in rehabilitation and orthopedics units. Most of the injuries requiring time away from work for both groups were related to the process of delivering direct patient care. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings illustrate the importance of evaluating work-related injuries separately for aides and nurses, given differences in injury risk profiles and injury outcomes. It is particularly important that occupational safety needs of aides be addressed as this occupation experiences significant job growth.
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Manual-lifting; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Nurses; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Risk-analysis; Statistical-analysis; Nurses; Nursing; Author Keywords: nurse's aides; occupational injuries; acute care setting; healthcare workers; injury risk
H.J. Lipscomb, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, 2200 West Main Street, Suite 400, Durham, NC 27705
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
University of Texas
Page last reviewed: May 8, 2020Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division