Nurse Safety: Have We Addressed the Risks?
Response by Dietrich Mackel to Handle With Care®: The American Nurses Association's Campaign to Address Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders by A.B. de Castro (September 30, 2004):
I recently read with great interest your OJIN Nurse Safety article, 'Handle With Care®: The American Nurses Association's Campaign to Address Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders.' As a person employed in the mobility equipment industry I have observed over the years that despite many efforts to increase nurse and patient safety, the hospital industry, especially in the United States (US), remains reluctant to invest in equipment that will improve nurse and patient safety unless it is very clear that doing so will benefit their bottom line. This is unfortunate because nurses are the victims of work-related back injuries more frequently than almost any other profession.
Our mobility-products company has been selling a product that facilitates the transportation of obese patients for seven years now. While the US has a higher rate of obese citizens and obese hospital patients than the rest of the world, our U.S. hospitals often remain unwilling to invest such devices. We continue to receive orders from all over the world, and especially from Europe. However, we have had a very hard time convincing hospitals in the US to purchase our transportation unit, even though this transportation device, and other simple lifts, can prevent costly injuries to nurses and patients, as well as worker's compensation claims and overtime salary payments.
We hope that through articles, such as this one written by de Castro (2004), the American Nurses Association will be able to promote a greater willingness to invest in mobility equipment to enhance the safety of both nurses and patients.
de Castro, A.B. (2004). Handle with care®: The American Nurses Association's campaign to address work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 9(3). Available: www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Volume92004/No3Sept04/HandleWithCare.aspx