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Bernard Valencia’s room in the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif., illustrates how hospitals across the country could fight a nationwide epidemic. As soon as you enter the room, you can see one of the main strategies: A hook hangs from a metal track that runs across the ceiling.

This isn’t some bizarre way of fighting hospital-acquired infections or preventing the staff from getting needle sticks. The contraption is a ceiling hoist designed to lift and move patients with a motor instead of muscle.

As NPR has reported in our investigative series Injured Nurses, nursing employees suffer more debilitating back and other injuries than almost any other occupation — and they get those injuries mainly from doing the everyday tasks of lifting and moving patients.

But the Loma Linda hospital is part of a nationwide health care system that is proving hospitals can dramatically reduce the rate of injuries caused by lifting — if administrators are willing to invest the time and money.

The name of the system might surprise you. It’s the VA — the Department of Veterans Affairs.

At VA Hospitals, Training And Technology Reduce Nurses’ Injuries

Photo credit: Annie Tritt for NPR

A nursing student recently emailed me and asked me, “what the heck do nurses spend all of their time charting!?” It seemed like a silly question at first, but then I realized that unless you’re res…

HO. LY. COW. I never realized the extent of the charting-o-mania nurses have to undertake. Much respect, nurses!

larakamil asked:

So what does that say about women in nursing?

What, this post?

It doesn’t say anything about women in nursing. It does say something about what some people think about women in healthcare in general.

This post doesn’t say anything negative about nurses AT ALL. Nurses are awesome. As I’ve said before, I’m never offended by being mistaken for a nurse. Sure, I’m proud of being a doctor and I want my patients to recognize my title, but if I were a nurse I would be no less proud of my position. Showing pride in my own position and achievements is not the same as belittling others’. I correct people when they call me nurse because I want them to know my role in their care and I don’t want them to ask 5 hours later, “when am I going to see a doctor?” It’s not some egotistical “how dare you call me a nurse!” kind of response. Maybe for some it is, but not for me.

My point in the earlier post is that I, like many other women who work in hospitals, am not a nurse. When a patient sees a male in a hospital, they don’t automatically assume to know their job title. But when they see a woman, they’re automatically a nurse. But there are plenty of female physical therapists, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians, and doctors in my hospital, and when we walk in a room, we are automatically thought of as nurses. What I am offended by is patients and other people who can’t think of a woman being anything other than a nurse, as if that were the only job “suitable” for women. The problem is not being a nurse. The problem is not being allowed to be anything else.  That is my point. 

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According to surveys by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 35,000 back and other injuries among nursing employees every year, severe enough that they have to miss work.

Nursing assistants and orderlies each suffer roughly three times the rate of back and other musculoskeletal injuries as construction laborers.

In terms of sheer number of these injuries, BLS data show that nursing assistants are injured more than any other occupation, followed by warehouse workers, truckers, stock clerks and registered nurses.

The number one reason why nursing employees get these injuries is by doing their everyday jobs of moving and lifting patients.

Hospitals Fail To Protect Nursing Staff From Becoming Patients

Photo credit: Talia Herman for NPR, (x-ray) Daniel Zwerdling/NPR

Nurblrs and Medblrs!!! Reblog with your country/state and let's see how wide spread our community of passionate healthcare providers is❤️ students and the fully qualified!
Textual relations...
  • Friend:How's your day going! :)
  • Me:Well. I just helped a nurse put a rectal tube in someone.
  • Friend:
  • Friend:
  • Me:You don't have to ask me that anymore if you don't want to.
  • Friend:Thank you.