From the beginning of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale and her colleagues were of the opinion that musculoskeletal injuries incurred while taking care of patients was an accepted part of the job and due to lack of strength and poor lifting techniques. Reinforcing this common misunderstanding, Isabel Hampton expressed in her 1898 publication, “Occasionally the complaint is made that a nurse injured her back or strained herself in some way while moving a patient. This will generally occur because she has failed to perform the lifting properly.” Amazingly, for more than a century, lifting properly, now known as body mechanics, served as the foundation for much of healthcare education, despite science that proved this wasn’t the solution to injury prevention.
Today we know from the work done by authors and scientists such as Audrey Nelson, William Charney, Mary Matz, Tom Waters, and Bill Marras, that there is no safe way to lift more than 35 pounds in the healthcare setting without incurring vertebral end plate micro-fractures when caregivers exceed this limit over time. This research has led to increased interest in ways to promote patient safety while protecting care providers from serious injuries incurred while handling and moving patients.
During the past decade, rapid advancements in safe patient handling and mobility equipment, procedures and techniques have been achieved. In 2013, The American Nurses Association published the all-new SPHM Interprofessional Standards, and shortly thereafter the ANA SPHM Implementation Guide was published, providing the initiative for the introduction of a national bill. And a number of states have initiated SPHM legislation or resolutions.
This is good news for healthcare professionals, patients and administrators alike.
ATLAS Lift Tech is quickly becoming the partner of choice for SPHM programs in health facilities nationwide. Our
proven approach, deep industry experience, and specially trained and certified professionals called ATLAS Lift Coaches, set us apart. Whether you already have a SPHM program in place that could benefit from a fresh perspective or are in need of a new solution to meet regulatory requirements, we’re here to help.