What's Safe Patient Handling

Prevent Caregivers from Occupational Injuries
Manual lifting is the main reason for caregivers' injuries. Moving patients by caregivers' physical strength exposes them in high risk of MSD (Musculoskeletal Disorders). Moving a patient involves bending and lifting, which often cause back injuries. As a result, lots of caregivers may have to take sick leave or even quit the job.

In 2009, there were over 46,000 caregivers, including nurses, nursing workers, resident care attendants, who suffered from MSD in the U.S.. One third of the MSD had to do with the method and frequency to move patients. According to official statistics (United States Senate, 2010; UMass, 2011), the U.S. spent 740 million dollars on occupational injuries, and one third of them gave to healthcare workers.

Improving caregivers' work environment, reducing occupational injuries and elevating their willing to work as well as the retention rate has been the key issue for Taiwan's medical care system.

  • Raise caregivers' job satisfaction
Most caregivers' concern is that if safe patient handling may reduce their work efficiency. Actually, research has proved that it won't decrease work efficiency for a well-trained caregiver. In addition, safe patient handling increases their job satisfaction because the risk of injuries greatly decline. Applying safe patient handling not only makes caregivers feel that they are professional, but also reduce their workload and job risks. Their satisfaction therefore rises, which prolongs their willing to stay on the job.