21 Mar 2024

Protecting carers’ wellbeing

Almost three in five healthcare workers have suffered musculoskeletal injuries related to their job, new research has found. Nearly four out of five said they kept working while they were injured. And more than half claimed that safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) equipment wasn’t readily available.

The research involved 973 healthcare workers from the US and looked at the factors linked to injury and patient handling behaviours. It found that a third of workers had changed jobs because of the pain they had suffered and one in eight were thinking about leaving the profession. It highlighted the important role of education and training to ensure SPHM equipment is used, as well as the introduction of written policies to reinforce this.

The study, published in the journal Applied Ergonomics, said: “The current study suggests that rates of musculoskeletal injury in healthcare workers are underreported relative to official reports. Despite the high injury risk, nurses report an acceptance of manual patient handling and do not regularly use SPHM equipment. These findings highlight the need for adopting regular SPHM practice.”

Read the full study

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