Some of the most common injuries sustained by members of the health care team are severe musculoskeletal strains. Many injuries can be avoided by the conscious use of proper body mechanics when performing physical labor.
Use proper body mechanics in order to avoid the following:
Muscle strains or tears.
Injury to the patient.
Injury to assisting staff members.
STEPS INVOLVED IN PROPERLY MOVING AN OBJECT TO A NEW LOCATION
The following paragraph takes you through the process of moving (lifting, pivoting, squatting, and carrying) a heavy object. (The same rules would apply to moving a patient.) The object will be moved from a waist high area to a lower area five to ten feet away. The procedure will combine all the rules of body mechanics previously discussed.
One of the basic procedures that nursing personnel perform most frequently is that of changing the patient's position. Any position, even the most comfortable one, will become unbearable after a period of time. Whereas the healthy person has the ability to move at will, the sick person's movements may be limited by disease, injury, or helplessness. It is often the responsibility of the practical nurse to position the patient and change his position frequently. Once the patient is able to ambulate, certain precautions must be taken to ensure the patient's safety.
REASONS FOR CHANGING THE POSITION OF A PATIENT
The following are reasons for changing a patient's position.
a. General Principles for Turning the Adult Patient .
Sometimes the physician will specify how often to turn a patient. A schedule can be set up for turning the adult patient throughout his "awake" hours. The patient should be rotated through four positions (unless a particular position is contraindicated):