Many bring light to malpractice in the hospital industry, whether it is the misdiagnosis of a patient or a botched surgery resulting in long term consequences. Rarely do we hear about workplace injury in healthcare facilities, particularly those suffered by nursing employees doing typical tasks required by their jobs. According to a recent story on NPR’s All Things Considered, it is an epidemic that needs to finally be addressed by hospitals with a succinct plan of action.
Tens of thousands of nursing employees in the US suffer debilitating injuries in the workplace. These hospital employees are developing disabilities as a result of work responsibilities, such as moving and lifting patients, that hinder their everyday life. Most injuries are in the arms, backs, and shoulders of nursing employees, making it difficult for them to do mundane daily tasks, such as lifting their children.
The number of workplace injuries can be significantly reduced in hospitals that purchase special equipment for moving patients and train nursing staff on how to operate that equipment properly. A recent federal study revealed that the VA hospital system was able to decrease the number of lifting injuries by 40 percent after installing such equipment and conducting a proper employee training program. Baptist Health in Florida reduced their number of nursing employee injuries by 80 percent after utilizing a similar solution (NPR, 2015).
Zwerdling, Daniel. “Despite High Rates of Nursing Injuries, Government Regulators Take Little Action.” All Things Considered. NPR, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. <www.NPR.com>.