Working in the healthcare service is very strenuous and sometimes also stressful, especially for nurses, considering that 90 percent of nurses are women. Occasionally, the nursing staff has to lift up to 1,8 tons during one shift. Koen De Doncker, ergonomist and product manager, helps nurses with ergonomic moving and handling patients. His goal is to share tips and instructions for ergonomic execution of daily nursing routines.
“Many nursing activities have a common problem. They are carried out in a posture when the nurse is bent forward. This unfavorable angle places excessive physical strain on the body and often leads to back pain and other musculoskeletal complications. When the body is in the normal, neutral and recommended position, even larger loads can be moved,” explains Koen de Doncker.
The right bed can make a difference
Notably for activities during basic care, nurses often have to lean forward, for example to be able to wash the patient’s legs or feet. Patients with high weight often need to be moved and the body reacts to unfavorable working angles in the medium and long term with symptoms and injuries – a consequence of excessive and one-sided loads during lifting and repositioning. Electrically adjustable beds give nurses a number of options to support ergonomic moving and handling of the patient. Especially medical beds with the lateral tilt feature can significantly reduce the physical strain of caregivers and give the patient more comfort during turning.
Some of the basic principles to reduce strain on the body
- Use as many tools as possible, such as a height-adjustable bed or a sliding mat.
- Ensure sufficient (movement) space.
- Always set the bed to a comfortable working height for you.
- Keep your back straight.
- Always lift from your legs.
- Find a stable posture (e. g. legs standing sideways or offset).
- Make movements by shifting your body weight in the same direction.
- Work as much as possible with your arms outstretched.
- Hold your palms down to minimize strain on your arms and back.
- Avoid back pain by using a firm and stable stance.
- If necessary ask a collegue for help.
LINET Academy – 15 years of training experience
To learn more about the best practice of moving and handling techniques, contact the LINET MEA team for made-to-measure trainings by LINET Academy. This training centre with more than 15 years of training experience provides specialised courses and hands-on workshops for caregivers, focused on training for real-life situations in daily nursing practice and elimination of harmful stereotypes for in-bed patient care. Almost 1.000 nurses from the region were already trained by LINET Academy. Join LINET Academy and improve patient positioning and in-bed patient care with the effective usage of medical beds in daily nursing practice.
Experience LINET Academy with Koen de Doncker, Ergonomist & Product Manager
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