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Authors

  1. Radawiec, Stephanie M.
  2. Howe, Cynthia
  3. Gonzalez, Cynthia M.
  4. Waters, Thomas R.
  5. Nelson, Audrey

Abstract

Nurses and other caregivers face high risk for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders associated with manual ambulation of patients with orthopaedic conditions. In addition to the physical demands needed to support the patient's weight during ambulation, injury risk increases if the patient falls. A task force including representatives from the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, American Nurses Association, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Patient Safety Center of Inquiry at the James A. Haley Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tampa developed an ergonomic tool for determining best practices for safe ambulation of orthopaedic patients (C. A. Sedlak, M. O. Doheny, A. Nelson, & T. R. Waters, 2009). Scientific evidence, concepts of ergonomic safety, and safe patient-handling equipment were incorporated into an ergonomic tool designed to increase safety and reduce unnecessary variation in practice associated with this high-risk patient-handling task (National Institute for Occupational Safety Health, 1997; National Research Council/Institute of Medicine, 2001; A. Nelson, 2006; T. Waters, 2007).