From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
February 2007 Edition
More than 220 nurses, health care professionals and workplace safety advocates joined together in a jam-packed room inside Randolph-based Lombardo’s on Jan. 12 for a first-of-its-kind MNA conference: one that was entirely dedicated to the issue of safe patient handling.
The need for such a conference has been growing in recent years, and during this time the MNA positioned itself as one of the area’s most influential players on the issue of safe patient handling. The organization’s involvement with the issue was essential in order to address the related burgeoning crisis-a crisis that brings with it some truly alarming statistics:
- The injury rate for workers in hospitals and nursing homes is higher than in the trucking, logging or construction industries
- Nearly 40 percent of nurses have sustained injuries from lifting and repositioning patients
- 48 percent of nurses suffer with chronic pain as a result of lifting, transferring and repositioning patients
- 12 percent of nurses are contemplating “leaving for good” because of back pain
- 20 percent of nurses have transferred to a different unit, position or employment opportunity because of lower back pain
The MNA recently re-filed legislation that would address the issue of safe patient handling by setting clear parameters and benchmarks for hospitals and health care facilities.