The nursing profession is a multifaceted one, and while working around ill patients presents certain dangers, some of the biggest health risks you face in your profession involve heavy lifting. Nurses often have to move or shift immobile patients with little, if any, help from equipment or their peers, and many of them are injuring themselves as a result.

Per Healthcare Business & Technology, hospitals must do more to prevent lifting-related injuries among nurses and other health care workers. Statistics show that nurses alone currently suffer more than 35,000 such injuries every year that are bad enough to keep them from coming to work, with back and musculoskeletal injuries proving particularly common.

Dangers associated with lifting patients

What is it about lifting patients that makes it particularly hazardous? For starters, it is easier to lift something when it is close to you, but you may only get so close to a patient who is laying down in his or her bed. Similarly, when working as a nurse, you may perform the same lifting procedures repeatedly, which may lead to tears, scar tissue and related issues.

The role of lift-assistance equipment

Some hospitals and clinics are taking some of the burden off of nurses by purchasing lift-assistance equipment that performs much of the labor for them. However, such equipment is not cheap, and many smaller, more rural operations simply do not have room for it in their budgets.

While it is in your best interests for your employer to invest in lifting equipment, it is also in your employer’s. Otherwise, it may become harder to maintain adequate staff, which in turn may impact patient care.