Kicking off the news for nurses this week is a look at the toll obesity is taking on healthcare professionals. I found this article over at IBtimes.com with a look at how the problem is particularly prevalent among the nursing profession.
Injury Prevention in Health Care Workplace
We all know that back and lifting related musculoskeletal injuries are a big problem for healthcare workers. That is the history. The problem may be getting worse every year based on this article. With our increasingly obese patient population the weight we are all having to manage when we move and lift patients continues to rise. This is taking a toll on us even faster.
When you add in the aging nursing population in general and the challenges that places on us all you begin to see how this is adding to the cost of hospital care and health care in general. That is just the cost in human potential and injury.
Equipment Costs Increased for Obese Patients
There is also the cost to the system for special bariatric patient care beds and mobility devices to consider. Hospitals are having to buy more and more of these specialized beds and tools to keep up with their heavier patient population. With U.S. expenditure exceeding 3 trillion dollars on health care, anything that can be done to decrease the costs is helpful.
The work to prevent and reduce obesity in the U.S. population is not just good for the patients themselves, it is good for the people who care for him. Focus on this problem with your colleagues and make sure you consider this as another reason to talk with all patients and indeed anyone you know about the importance of good health and wellness habits. The life you save may just be your own.
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 – Toxic Water Testing by Nurses and Episode 388.