Project Title

Intervention Against Work-Related Back Injury Among Nurses in an Atlanta Emergency Department

Academic department under which the project should be listed

WCHHS - Nursing

Faculty Sponsor Name

Jan Turner

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Existing research reveals back pain as the most common work-related injury among nurses. One in twenty hospital employees reported work-related injury in 2019, approximately twice the rate of the private industry. Back injuries are a significant detriment to the nurses’ overall quality of life as well as their ability to work. Research suggests that nurses would be more ergonomically conscious and less likely to suffer work-related injury if provided adequate training from their employer. Employee surveys conducted at an Atlanta Emergency Department reveal nearly 90% of the nursing staff has suffered or is currently suffering back pain as a result of the nature of the job. Nurses on the unit expressed a lack of support and guidance from the organization, having never received education on safe patient handling techniques. The purpose of this study is to implement a formal education course on biomechanics to reduce the incidence of reported back injuries among an Atlanta ED nursing staff by 50%. The 12-month course will include monthly in-person learning demonstrations focusing on optimal posture, ergonomics, and safe handling techniques. Nurses attending the course will learn how to protect themselves from injury and maximize their efforts through participation and return demonstration in live patient handling simulations. Upon completion of the course after 12 months, nurse employee health surveys will be evaluated. The objective will be met if the number of back injuries reported among an Atlanta ED nursing staff decreases by 50% or more.

Keywords: nursing, back pain, workplace, WRMSD, injury, ergonomics, biomechanics

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Intervention Against Work-Related Back Injury Among Nurses in an Atlanta Emergency Department

Existing research reveals back pain as the most common work-related injury among nurses. One in twenty hospital employees reported work-related injury in 2019, approximately twice the rate of the private industry. Back injuries are a significant detriment to the nurses’ overall quality of life as well as their ability to work. Research suggests that nurses would be more ergonomically conscious and less likely to suffer work-related injury if provided adequate training from their employer. Employee surveys conducted at an Atlanta Emergency Department reveal nearly 90% of the nursing staff has suffered or is currently suffering back pain as a result of the nature of the job. Nurses on the unit expressed a lack of support and guidance from the organization, having never received education on safe patient handling techniques. The purpose of this study is to implement a formal education course on biomechanics to reduce the incidence of reported back injuries among an Atlanta ED nursing staff by 50%. The 12-month course will include monthly in-person learning demonstrations focusing on optimal posture, ergonomics, and safe handling techniques. Nurses attending the course will learn how to protect themselves from injury and maximize their efforts through participation and return demonstration in live patient handling simulations. Upon completion of the course after 12 months, nurse employee health surveys will be evaluated. The objective will be met if the number of back injuries reported among an Atlanta ED nursing staff decreases by 50% or more.

Keywords: nursing, back pain, workplace, WRMSD, injury, ergonomics, biomechanics

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