1. Bacia, Ewa RN

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I read with interest "OSHA Gets Serious About Workplace Safety for Nurses" (In the News, September 2015), regarding the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration memo about preventing musculoskeletal injuries among health care staff, and I appreciate the need for better oversight and training in regard to proper patient handling.


I have experienced many situations in which I wasn't able to handle a patient in a way that was safe for me. I work in a setting where most patients need to be repositioned every two hours to prevent skin breakdown, and I have often had to reposition patients weighing more than 200 pounds by myself. Nurses know how important it is to prevent pressure ulcers and their complications, so we risk our health to make sure patients are repositioned frequently, even if we have no one else to help us.


I recently learned about a potential solution: turning teams. These teams are specifically designated to turn patients every two hours. They focus only on repositioning patients and can do so on a schedule. Turning teams have been implemented in a few hospitals and, according to a study by Still and colleagues,1 have become very efficient at preventing pressure ulcers.


Ewa Bacia, RN


Brooklyn, NY




1. Still MD, et al. The turn team: a novel strategy for reducing pressure ulcers in the surgical intensive care unit J Am Coll Surg. 2013;216(3):373-9 [Context Link]