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The majority of injuries reported are head, neck, or back injuries by nurses related to lifting patients, according to nurses. Although federal guidelines suggest workers do not lift anything above 50 pounds, most patients weigh much more than that.
Whenever you can, push instead of pull. This puts less stress on your back and you have twice as much power. Stay close to the bed or machine you are using and avoid reaching. Use both arms to prevent strain. When you lift from floor level, lift from a squat with your back straight, bend your knees, and let your legs do the lifting. If you have to lift from waist level, try to get help from another nurse or aide on the floor. Make sure you put the bed rails or wheelchair arms down. Explain what you're doing to your patient and to your co-worker who's helping you lift.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|