High-risk patient-handling tasks lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders for orthopaedic nurses and other members of the healthcare team who are involved in moving patients with orthopaedic issues. Serious consequences can arise from manually moving/lifting these patients. A task force was organized that included representatives from the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, the Patient Safety Center of Inquiry at the James A. Haley Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tampa, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the American Nurses Association to identify high-risk tasks performed in the orthopaedic setting and to develop evidence-based solutions to minimize the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. High-risk tasks for moving and lifting orthopaedic patients were identified. Four orthopaedic algorithms and a clinical tool were developed by the task force to direct nurses and healthcare team members caring for orthopaedic patients through the use of scientific evidence and available safe patient-handling equipment and devices.
Carol A. Sedlak, PhD, RN, CNS, ONC, CNE, Professor, Kent State University, College of Nursing, Kent, OH.
Margaret O. Doheny, PhD, RN, CNS, ONC, CNE, Professor, Kent State University, College of Nursing, Kent, OH.
Audrey Nelson, PhD, RN, FAAN, Director, Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, James A. Haley VAMC, Tampa, FL.
Thomas R. Waters, PhD, CPE, Research Safety Engineer, Division of Applied Research and Technology, NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The NAON recommendation reflects the views of the clinicians and scientists participating on the task force. No financial incentives were provided by any of the participating partners.