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Website Critiques: Safe Patient Handling


American Nurses Association Safe Patient Handling and Mobility


The American Nurses Association website is operated by the American Nurses Association Department of Government Affairs. The American Nurses Association Department of Government Affairs is a large, active entity involved in legislative processes on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Thanks to the large leadership and lobbyist presence of the American Nurses Association in the nation’s capital, the American Nurses Association is very involved in the federal changes in legislation that affect the whole of the American nursing community. The American Nurses Association and their online presence are one of the leading authorities in nurses issues. As such, the American Nurses Association website can be relied upon for up to date information on critical issues, including safe patient handling.

The issue of safe patient handling and mobility is presented on the American Nurses Association website as an issue of controversy. On the main page for “Safe Patient Handling and Mobility” information, there are four subheadings: Write Congress; Share Your Story; Tell a Friend; and Join ANA. The first two subheadings encourage website visitors – who are likely predominantly nurses, doctors, and nursing students – to get involved in the issue by advocating for their profession and for themselves. The third subheading, “Tell a Friend,” asks website viewers to spread awareness about the issue of safe patient handling and mobility. The final subheading asks website visitors to join the American Nurses Association in order to reap the benefits of membership, which include gaining access to the latest news and information regarding nursing issues and controversies, discounts, and special certification opportunities.

The American Nurses Association website provides crucial information about the issues surrounding safe patient handling and mobility. The American Nurses association website presents a brief overview of the issue of safe patient handling by describing the risks and dangers posed to nurses. For example, on the home page there is an excerpt regarding injuries and musculoskeletal disorders that are common in nurses who are required to lift patients, as well as the economic and administrative complications that are associated with nurses’ injuries caused by work-related activities. Interestingly, though, the American Nurses Association presents the issue from the perspective of advocating for nurses, but very rarely mentions the hazards to patients who are lifted by nurses in improper ways or with inadequate strength or skill. In this way, the American Nurses Association website is lacking in thoroughness, however it is an excellent resource for staying up to date on the most recent legislative movements and changes.

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants Article by M.A. Hudson


This article is a review of recent legislative changes that immediately affect Texas nurses, but may affect nurses around the nation soon. The article has been published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal and has subsequently been published on the website of the United States National Library of Medicine. The United States National Library of Medicine is supported and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Both the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Biotechnology Information are world-renowned organizations that provide only the highest quality research and information. Also, because the article has been published in the peer-reviewed journal entitled Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants, the article is supported with additional authority and credibility. Peer-reviewed and published journal articles are held to extremely high standards and are therefore some of the best and most reliable sources of information available.

As a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants presents the issue of safe patient handling without any bias or persuasion. The journal’s only agenda is to provide accurate, reliable, and useful information to professionals and specialized students. However, while the journal itself as the medium of the available information does not align itself with one side or the other of the issue, the author of the article, M.A. Hudson, does express some personal feelings about the issue of safe patient handling. The issue of safe patient handling is under recent scrutiny from nurses because nurses are often asked to perform strenuous physical tasks such as lifting or maneuvering heavy patients. This can lead to injury for nurses that can cause long-term painful physical effects. Therefore, nurses often debate whether or not there should be special regulations in order to protect nurses either from having to perform risky tasks, or to provide compensation and job protection in the case of an injury.

Hudson addresses this issue by reporting on a recent legislative change that has taken place in Texas. Texas is now the first state “to require hospitals and nursing homes to implement safe patient handling and movement programs”. The purpose of this legislation is to reduce the risk of injury to the nurse and to the patient when a patient must be lifted. Hudson goes on to detail the health hazards and risks associated with lifting patients. Hudson also elaborates on how the training programs can help nurses and patients. So far, training programs have already been implemented in Australia and England, but American nurses are lacking in crucial information that can protect them and the people they serve. Therefore, Texas will likely be the trial state and, if the legislation is effective and successful, other American states may follow.

American Nurse Today Article by J. M. Dawson


The American Nurse Today publication is the official journal of the American Nurses Association. The American Nurses Association is a large, active organization that advocates for nurses rights, health, and well-being. In their publication, American Nurse Today, only clinically relevant and peer-reviewed articles are accepted, reviewed, and published. This ensures that American Nurse Today is a reliable and respectable professional publication that can be relied upon for accurate clinical information. The journal is also supported by the reputation of the well-known and widely-respected American Nurses Association. As such, the article written by Jaime Murphy Dawson and published in the American Nurse Today journal can be relied upon by nurses and medical professionals to assist in policy- and program-making decisions.

Dawson presents the issue of safe patient handling and mobility as a situation that has been largely misunderstood in the professional and clinical nursing populations. Too often decisions are made and policies are adopted because leaders believe that a particular belief has caused a considerable amount of panic and concern. However, in such cases, these beliefs are found to be false myths and the policies are actually more harmful than helpful. Therefore, Dawson presents the issue of safe patient handling and mobility from the perspective of discerning myth and fact so as to best evaluate the current environment of private and professional policies.

Dawson begins by presenting some very clear and realistic statistics regarding the health concerns associated with nurses who lift and move patients. For example, Dawson reports that sixty-two percent of nurses develop a disabling musculoskeletal disorder and that fifty-six percent of nurses report that their job as a nurse has made their musculoskeletal pain worse. Perhaps more impressive still is that eighty percent of nurses continue to work even though they experience musculoskeletal disorders and/or pain. Dawson’s statistics come from a recent and reliable study carried out by the American Nurses Association. Dawson goes on to debunk six commonly held myths of the nursing profession as they relate to safe patient handling and mobility. Unfortunately, part of what Dawson’s research findings reveal is that “there is no such thing as safe manual lifting,” which poses a conflict with training programs and other resources examined in this document. However, Dawson proposes the use of safe patient handling and mobility programs and equipment that are neither difficult to utilize or impersonal, and present a very realistic and feasible solution to manual lifting.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


For decades the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been one of the most widely respected and referenced resources around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a federal entity of the United States Government. The main goal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to protect public health, control the spread of disease, prevent the evolution and spread of disease, and research existing diseases to better understand their mechanisms and ways to defend against them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was founded in 1946 and has since been regarded as one of the most respected and trustworthy agencies in the fight against health ailments. As such, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes only the most reliable and credible information in their printed materials and on their website.

In recent years the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have turned their attention towards conducting research and spreading awareness regarding issues that plague the nation’s leading health care professionals: nurses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presents their website on safe patient handling as a compilation of verifiable research, data, and statistics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Medical Association – two additional valuable and reliable scientific resources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presents the issue of safe patient handling as a factual matter, rather than an emotionally-charged and controversial issue. Rather, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, safe patient handling is an issue that nurses ought to be aware of and gather knowledge on for the sake of their own well-being and health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on safe patient handling links to several additional resources, including information on ergonomics, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s publications on safe patient handling, and local conferences and educational resources that can provide nurses and medical professionals with ongoing sources of information. Nurses, nursing aides, and orderlies suffer “the most lost-time cases of general musculoskeletal pain” and back pain than individuals in any other medical or helping profession. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brings up an issue that other resources have yet to mention: as the rate of obesity rises in the United States, nurses and medical professionals are at increased risk of suffering from and facilitating injuries due to patient handling. As the nursing profession grows, more and more individuals are going to be exposed to work conditions that are dangerous due to the necessity for patient handling. Therefore, nurses must make themselves aware of these resources in order to remain educated and up to date on the most relevant and helpful data pertaining to safe patient handling.

U. S. Department of Labor Safe Patient Handling


Safe patient handling is an issue that pertains to skilled nursing practice as well as occupational safety. As such, the United States Department of Labor has provided an excellent online resource for nurses regarding safe patient handling. As a governmental agency, the Department of Labor is held to rigorous, high standards and both public and private scrutiny. The U. S. Department of Labor website compiles a wide array of information for nurses and nursing professionals from a variety of sources, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. By incorporating data and statistics that have been published and republished by other credible resources, nurses and nursing professionals can be assured that the information pertaining to safe patient handling on the U. S. Department of Labor website is coming from a reliable authority.

Like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, the U. S. Department of Labor website presents information on safe patient handling in a neutral and factual manner. Though there is controversy regarding what nurses should and should not be required to do as part of their professional responsibilities, the U. S. Department of Labor removes itself from the debate of “right or wrong” and simply provides factual, evidence-based information on safe patient handling.

The U. S. Department of Labor website provides information on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new policy for hospitals that was just updated on June 25, 2015. In order to help nurses, nursing aides, and orderlies who are frequently tasked with lifting and moving patients to use the best professional practices, the U. S. Department of Labor website has compiled information on how to safely handle and move patients, how to assess for musculoskeletal disorders in oneself and others, how management teams can support their nursing staff with regards to safe patient handling, and how policies and programs can be developed with attention to the unique risks nurses face. The U. S. Department of Labor website also provides links to education, training, safe patient handling equipment, and additional resources for nurses to stay current on the latest techniques.

OSHA Safe Patient Handling


Under the U. S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration addresses issues key to working for organizations, agencies, and business. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration aims to protect the rights, wellness, and safety of individual employees who work to enhance the wealth and success of larger organizations and corporations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also monitors and regulates labor regulations for the sake of protecting individual workers. As an advocacy and protection agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can be relied upon to provide important information pertaining to nurses and medical professionals who risk their health and safety to provide for others.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a world renowned authoritative agency that is often turned to in times of conflict between employers and employees. While many other sources approach the issue of safe patient handling from the perspective of what is best both for the nurse and the patient, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration aims to meet the needs and protect the interests of nurses and other medical professionals. Therefore, while the information provided on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website is valuable, it is lacking in certain aspects of information that many nurses may find crucial to doing their job well, as many nurses want to be informed of what is best for their patients as well as for themselves.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration website provides extensive statistics and information on safe patient handling. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration website breaks the information into five categories: a general overview of safe patient handling; hazards of and solutions to safe patient handling; training and additional resources; state legislation; and guidelines as to how to start a new safe patient handling program at one’s facility. Unlike the other resources reviewed in this document, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website provides state-specific information on the latest state legislation pertaining to safe patient handling in the nursing profession. Texas was the first state to initiate safe patient handling legislation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has included on their website the groundbreaking Texas legislation, as well as that of California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington. By providing this detained and very current information, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website is an excellent resource for working nurses and medical professionals.

 
 

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