Each year approximately 12% of nurses leave the healthcare field due to back injuries (Gropelli & Corle, 2010). The government pays approximately 16 billion dollars per year due to musculoskeletal/lower back injuries within the healthcare industry (Utah Nurses Association, 2010). These adverse effects led to the following scholarly activity project question: What is the best evidenced-based practice to prevent back injury among nurses without forfeiting adequate and quality care of patients? Methods included conducting a literature review, a policy and procedure review and observation of various patient handling activities in the clinical setting. The literature suggested that implementing a safe patient-handling program significantly reduced back injuries among nurses. The guidelines for the safe patient-handling program include a no manual lift policy, proper use of ergonomic equipment, and an employee training program for all employees directly involved in patient care. Implementing a safe patient-handling program is the best way to prevent back injuries among nurses. The policy & procedures and observation of patient handling techniques were consistent with the findings in the literature. Implications for nursing practice, education and research were provided. References Gropelli, T. M., & Corle, K. (2010). Nurses' and therapists' experiences with occupational musculoskeletal injuries. American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal, 58(4), 159-165.
http://dx.doi.org.libnet.swosu.edu/10.3928/08910162-20100316-01 Utah Nurses Association. (2010). The elephant in the room: huge rates of nursing and healthcare worker injury. Utah Nurse, 19(1), 1-2, 4-5.