When you make your living as a North Carolina nurse, you expose yourself to many work-related hazards that have the potential to lead to a serious injury or illness. Working around ill patients involves inherent risk. However, one of the biggest risks you face in your line of work comes from repeated heavy lifting.
Per Healthcare Business & Technology, lifting-related injuries are so common among individuals in your profession that nurses experience more than 35,000 back and musculoskeletal injuries every year that stop them from coming to work.
Why lifting-related injuries are so prevalent
You may have undergone training to learn how to lift properly. Your employer may also encourage you to lift patients as part of a team to help minimize the strain on your body. However, using proper lifting techniques only does so much to prevent injuries associated with moving immobile patients.
Lifting patients from a distance is often necessary due to some patients spending the majority of their time in bed. However, lifting from a distance exposes you to injury risks. Also, performing the same lifting tasks again and again also increases your chances of a serious lifting-related injury.
What employers should do
To help protect you and other health care professionals responsible for lifting patients, your employer should think about purchasing lift-assistance equipment. Such equipment takes on much of a patient’s weight, reducing the strain on your body.
Lift-assistance equipment comes at a high cost for employers. However, employers with high numbers of nurses who have lifting-related injuries may wind up paying a significant sum in workers’ compensation costs if they choose not to invest in it.