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Possible health risks of patient handling in the nursing industry

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2023 | Health Care Worker Injuries

If you work in the nursing industry, you may be no stranger to the challenges involved with the patient handling process. While you might take great pride in your profession and the care you provide to your patients, you may still have concerns about the toll lifting and transferring patients could take on your body. 

Patient handling tasks continue to be a leading cause of injury in your profession. Studies indicate that the healthcare industry reports more back injuries each year than any other field. Patient handling injuries can occur under numerous scenarios, and the outcome thereof could take a dire toll on your life in Minnesota. 

Patient handling 

There are various types of tasks you may perform while caring for your patients, some of which could place substantial strain on your body. Some leading causes of injuries in your profession may include: 

  • Lifting patients: Part of caring for your patients might involve the need to lift and support them while administering care. Constant lifting remains a leading cause of injuries among nurses. 
  • Awkward stances: Tasks such as bathing patients may cause you to remain in awkward positions for prolonged periods, which can take a dire toll on your well-being over time. 
  • Patient transfers: Transferring patients to another bed or helping patients get up to take a walk can be strenuous activities that could place substantial strain on your body. 
  • Repetitive tasks: The patient care process could involve the need to perform repetitive motions. Similar concerns remain a prevalent cause of injury in many professions. 
  • Aggressive patients: Some of the patients you care for could exhibit aggressive or combative behaviors. Similar issues could also place you at greater risk of injury. 

While there may be some steps you can take to help promote safety with patient handling tasks, there could also be some scenarios in which there is little you can do to keep the unimaginable at bay. 

Nursing injuries 

Workplace incidents involving similar safety concerns could have a significant impact on your health and life. Similar safety issues could create various types of health concerns, ranging anywhere from severe back pain to spinal or musculoskeletal disorders. Your injuries could affect your ability to perform job tasks and leave you facing a long road to recovery. While the workers’ compensation insurance system may provide much-needed aid to those in your position, you might be uncertain of how best to navigate this process.