NIOSH provides training on safe patient handling

April 1, 2010

NIOSH in March released a booklet (.pdf file) and Web-based training on safe patient handling for nursing schools.

According to NIOSH, a 2007 list of at-risk occupations for musculoskeletal disorders showed nursing aides, orderlies and attendants ranked first with a rate of 252 cases per 10,000 workers -- 7 times the national MSD average for all occupations. Nurses often experience MSDs from performing repeated manual patient handling activities and working in static awkward positions. Yet educators still teach outdated methods for patient lifting, NIOSH said.

The training materials emphasize biomechanics -- the study of the mechanics of muscular activity -- to help nurses determine the safety of a specific manual patient handling task.