1. Young, Christine MSN
  2. Hercinger, Maribeth PhD, RN
  3. Ball, Sarah J. PhD, RN
  4. Goodman, Joely PhD, RN
  5. Flott, Elizabeth EdD, RN

Article Content

Nursing faculty have a responsibility to teach principles of safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) to protect patients and nurses. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders continue to be a serious risk to nurses that can lead to injury. The faculty of a prelicensure nursing program collaborated with an academic service partner at a local Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital to teach a class and laboratory on SPHM. The class addressed best practices of SPHM from national safety organizations, emphasizing the necessity of SPHM equipment for patient outcomes and nurse safety. Following the class, students participated in a laboratory onsite at the VA Hospital. Small groups of students completed hands-on practice with a variety of lift equipment. The equipment included ceiling lift devices, slings, stand assist devices, and bed positioning devices. The laboratory focused on principles of SPHM, including the importance of no-lift policies, the limitations and potential hazards of equipment, and basic ergonomic principles. The laboratory addressed the importance of communication with the patient and health care team members. This experience allowed students to practice SPHM skills that would not have been possible within the college of nursing simulation laboratory because of limited space and SPHM equipment. Academic service partnerships with institutions who are leaders in SPHM promote a culture for safe work practices and injury prevention.