Finally, in the nursing news this week, I have another in an ongoing series of articles at NPR.org on nurse workplace injury rates. They wrap up this series with a look at a new OSHA program to work to specifically reduce nurses and healthcare facility workplace injury rates.

Hospital OSHA Nurse Injury Enforcement Memo

surgical-nurse-gownOSHA is sending hospital administrators an “enforcement memo” that outlines their recommendations for safe patient handling practices and healthcare workplace safety for nurses and nursing staff. I reported on this series of articles a few months ago where I detailed the staggeringly high rates of injury for nurses and nursing aides due to patient handling issues.

Nurses and nursing students in the U.S. are being taught to move and transfer patients in much the same way their counterparts moved patients a century ago. We need to change. European healthcare systems have moved lightyears ahead of the U.S. in stopping this practice of promoting injury through poor education and resources. They have lift assist devices everywhere in their systems with things like ceiling mounted lifts and mobile airbag lift systems like the Mangar Elk and Camel for home care and long term care situations.

There are a few hospitals around the U.S. that have implemented these systems but there are far more hospitals and facilities that see our backs as expendable even though a back injury claim can cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance and lost wages. Are your facilities starting to change? Let me know what they’re doing and maybe I can feature one of them here on the show.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Safer Patient Ambulation with Nezzie and Episode 352.

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