Safe Patient Handling Stories - Western Region
Note: Stories submitted by RNs through this Website and published here have been edited for clarity and brevity.
I have never had a major injury myself, but know many nurses who have had career-ending patient handling related injuries. I started and ran our safe patient handling and movement program at the VA San Diego in 2001, and have seen great success in reducing both frequency and severity of staff injuries. Our program now applies to all patient care staff (not just nurses), and we have 100% ceiling track lift coverage for inpatient beds as well as other needed equipment for both inpatients and outpatients. I present at national and local conferences, and try to get the word out to nurses everywhere that they do not have to risk these types of injuries, that they should not be treated as "disposable," and that using equipment can save health care facilities much more than it costs to purchase the equipment.
Rehabilitation nurse, California
I am a Workplace Safety Specialist for my hospital, and my specialty is safe patient handling. I am a Master Trainer in our safe patient handling program and it frustrates me that our RNs do not understand the hazards that are associated with their jobs.
Educator/Workplace training specialist, California
I am an inpatient palliative care RN at an acute care hospital. It is imperative that patients experiencing end-of-life pain be moved appropriately and with enough staff and equipment to reduce additional pain and suffering, and promote comfort. Our health care organization has lift teams who do make a difference using effective body mechanics and equipment. However, they do not have enough lift teams, and this causes longer waiting times for patients and staff.
RN in acute care hospital, California