Academic journal article Online Journal of Issues in Nursing

Faculty Perceptions of Implementing an Evidence-Based Safe Patient Handling Nursing Curriculum Module

Academic journal article Online Journal of Issues in Nursing

Faculty Perceptions of Implementing an Evidence-Based Safe Patient Handling Nursing Curriculum Module

Article excerpt

Abstract

Despite the well-documented evidence for preventing musculoskeletal injuries among nurses providing patient handling tasks using ergonomic principles, faculty in nursing schools continue to rely on the teaching of body mechanics which fails to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. In this article the authors report the qualitative data from a parent study designed to develop and test an evidence-based curriculum module in nursing schools. Focus groups were conducted with participating faculty to elicit their perceptions of facilitators and barriers for implementing a new, evidence-based, safe patient handling curriculum module at their nursing schools. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Faculty, who were overwhelmingly positive about the curriculum module, related numerous implementation facilitators and recommendations for overcoming barriers. Findings from this study can be used to facilitate implementation of the curriculum module at other nursing schools and thus promote the use of safe patient handling throughout healthcare.

Citation: Powell-Cope, G., Hughes, N., Sedlak, C., Nelson, A., (August 18, 2008) "Faculty Perceptions of Implementing an Evidence-Based Safe Patient Handling Nursing Curriculum Module" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Vol. 13 No. 3. Available: www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/vol132008/No3Sept08/ArticlePreviousTopic/NurseFacultyandSafePatientHandling.aspx

Key words: back injury, devices, equipment, ergonomics, Handle With Care®, lifting techniques, musculoskeletal disorders, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), nurse safety, nursing, nursing education, nursing faculty, nursing schools, nursing students, occupational safety, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), patient care ergonomics, safe patient handling, work-related musculoskeletal injuries

...the belief that "good" body mechanics will protect nurses from musculoskeletal injury is entrenched in the practices of many nurses and nursing faculty, despite strong evidence that body mechanics alone is not safe Despite the well-documented evidence to support "safe patient handling" practices (Collins, Wolf, Bell, & Evanoff, 2004; Nelson et al., 2006), manual patient handling techniques, are still being taught in nursing schools (Collins, & Menzel, 2006; Potter & Perry, 2006; Taylor, Lillis & LeMone, 2005, Owen, 2000). Manual patient handling is broadly defined as the transporting or supporting of loads by hand or bodily force and includes lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, moving or carrying (Health and Safety Executive (2007). In contrast, safe patient handling is the application of evidence-based strategies to reduce the risk(s) associated with manual patient handling. Examples of evidence-based strategies include first assessing risk to identify the behaviors that put nurses at risk on a given unit, then identifying ways to avoid the task if possible, redesign the task, or use mechanical devices to reduce the manual forces required. For example, in nursing homes nurses are frequently required to move dependent residents from a bed to a chair. This type of manual transfer puts the nurse at risk for a musculoskeletal injury. In this case, the use of ceiling-mounted lifts with the correct slings and training on the proper use of the lift greatly reduces the risk of injury from transferring the resident. Technology solutions, which traditionally have been underused in patient handling, are often the preferred strategy for reducing the risks. However, the belief that "good" body mechanics will protect nurses from musculoskeletal injury is entrenched in the practices of many nurses and nursing faculty, despite strong evidence that body mechanics alone is not safe (Collins et al., 2004; Garg & Owen, 1992; Marras, Davis, Kirking, & Bertsche, 1999; Nelson & Baptiste, 2004; Nelson et al. …

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