1. Drysdale, Susan BA, RN, CGRN, CGN(C)


Work-related musculoskeletal injuries occur at an epidemic rate in Canada. Many thousands of workers are temporarily or permanently removed from the workforce annually because of this type of injury. Workers who are most susceptible to this type of injury are those who perform physical, repetitive work involving sustained activity in awkward positions and cramped environments. Workers in the healthcare sector experience one of the highest rates of this type of injury annually. Injury prevention programs are being developed and instituted by government agencies and employers in an attempt to reduce the frequency of occurrence of this type of injury. In spite of attempts to prevent these injuries, musculoskeletal injuries of the upper extremity, neck, and back continue to occur in healthcare workers including nurses. Endoscopy nurses experience upper extremity injuries at work. The purpose of this study was to explore whether the occurrence of upper extremity injuries is common in this population of nurses and to identify factors that may be associated with these injuries. Results reveal that for this sample of Canadian nurses, older endoscopy nurses are at greater risk of injury. Nurses with injuries tended to self-prescribe treatment of their injuries. They also took anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers for their symptoms and saw their doctors for their conditions. Physiotherapist involvement was not common. Thirty-two percent of the endoscopy nurses in this study missed work because of upper extremity pain. Considering the number of nurses working in Canada, this percentage suggests a significant number of sick days, indicating a cause for concern, exploration, and further prevention measures.