Youíll be interested to know that while nursing personnel consistently rank among the top ten occupations for work-related musculoskeletal injuries in the U.S., itís surprisingly difficult to pinpoint an exact answer to your question. Thatís because many factors come into play, including severity of injuries (are strains/sprains counted as injuries?), the job titles covered (some surveys cover only RNís, for example, but not all caregivers), and also the timeframe in which surveys have been completed. Further, underreporting is rampant among healthcare workers. In addition, researchers have concluded that 30% - 65% of all injuries are overlooked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Following is a summary of injury statistics compiled from surveys conducted over the past several years. These stats might help you get a better handle on that elusive national average figure:
- 38% of RNís and 42% of Direct Caregivers suffered injuries as a result of patient handling activities
- Nearly 40% of nurses cite the physical demands of the job as the most serious problem in nursing today, (the figure was 28% in 2003)
- 48% of RNs and 58% of Direct Caregivers experienced chronic pain from patient handling activities
- 47% of RNs and 30% of Direct Caregivers considered leaving patient care specifically because of the physical demands of their job.
- Nearly 70% of nurse back injuries are to the lumbar spine with 57% to intervertebral discs.
- About 12% of nurses leave the profession due to back injuries
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, six of the top ten professions with greatest risk of back injuries are: Nurseís Aides, LPNís, RNís, Health Aides, Radiology Techs, and PTís
We hope this helps in determining your facilityís quality improvement target.
The Lift Doctor*