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Clinicians and nurses are vulnerable to work injuries with about 35 percent reporting that they have been injured at least once while on the job, according to a recent survey released by Nurture, a Steelcase brand.
These injuries can cause them to miss shifts or alter their activities while on the job, the survey found, with 24 percent of survey respondents having to modify their activity or movement during at least one shift.
Additionally, the bulk of injuries are due to patient transfers - about one in three clinicians and nurses said they experienced an injury while moving patients from bed to chair. Back injury is the greatest perceived risk for caregivers followed by neck injury.
"Unfortunately, these (results) were not surprising," said Alan Rheault, director of industrial design for Nurture. Rheault, whose wife is a nurse and was injured on the job, said the company has seen differing reports and statistics about workplace injuries among nurses and clinicians, and decided to conduct its own survey to share with clients.
Though less often, patient injuries also occur. About 10 percent said at least one of their patients had been injured while on the job.
"It's surprising when you realize that nurses are injured more than patients," he said. "Hospitals will always tell you -- and rightly so -- that patients come first. But to do that, you need to take care of those working directly with patients."
About half of survey respondents said they feel their work environment is supportive in preventing injury. But a quarter of clinicians and nurses would like their workplace to update equipment and furniture and another 23 percent said they'd like the physical space to be rearranged to better align with patient needs.
Rheault said that the healthcare equipment company has already built specific product to address some of these workplace injuries, including patient recliners and lighter weight carts to wheel equipment around.
A total of 303 online surveys were conducted between July 31 and Aug. 30 by Business Research Group. Respondents have at least one year experience with patient care and include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nursing managers, physical therapists and occupation therapists, with equal representation from the Northeast, Midwest, South and Western regions of the United States as well as Canada. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percent.
Nurture commissioned the survey.