1. Murty, Marlene MSc, RN, CMIOSH


There is anecdotal evidence of musculoskeletal disorders in nurses practicing in the endoscopy nursing field. A literature search reveals only one small cross-sectional study in which the researcher concluded that dedicated endoscopy nurses had a high prevalence of upper extremity disorders, indicating a need for further investigation. For the current study, a random sample of 12 nurses were interviewed and transcripts analyzed using grounded theory methodology. Tasks discussed with particular relevance during the interviews were then observed and rated by using the Quick Exposure Check. Overall, the nurses in the study sample felt that the demands on their musculoskeletal system were no greater than those for other areas of nursing, but they were different. Quick Exposure Check ratings supported the nurses' perception of tasks with increased risk factors. Although exposure levels may not lead directly to musculoskeletal disorders, there are moderating factors that affect the outcome. Nurses are exposed to risk factors for disorders of the upper extremities but not exclusively, and more study is required. Nurse endoscopists appear to be at particular risk related to duration of exposure. Interventions should be identified to minimize the effects of upper extremity disorders and focus on the moderating factors outlined.