Safe patient handling and movement device training: a hands-on continuing education program for occupational therapy practitioners
Grimaud, Theta A
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Healthcare workers are reported to have a higher rate of work-related injuries than workers in private industry and most these injuries have been attributed to client handling tasks (BLS, 2009). Client handling tasks for all healthcare workers can include tasks such as: transfers, bed mobility, activities of daily living (ADL), sitting and standing balance training, ambulation/gait, wound care, lymphedema care and splinting. Research on the nursing profession indicates at least 12% of nurses are injured during client handling tasks and that at least 12% of nursing staff will leave client care or the profession because of an injury or fear of an injury (ANA, 20 12). Occupational therapists are conducting research to understand the injury rates of occupational therapy practitioners and the impact on the profession. The current research appears to mirror the nursing profession's findings. At least 12% of occupational therapy practitioners are injured during client care tasks and at least 12% will leave client care or the profession because of an injury or out of fear of an injury (Campo & Darragh, 2010; Darragh, et al., 2009; & Rice, et al., 2011). The nursing profession has found that the use of safe patient handling and movement (SPHM) devices and techniques can reduce the incidents of client care related injuries among nursing staff (ANA, 2012). However, the use of SPHM devices has been primarily limited to surface to surface transfers and rarely used for therapeutic purposes. In fact, research indicates that therapy practitioners, for many reasons, currently do not believe that SPHM is appropriate for therapeutic interventions (Campo & Darragh, 2010; & Darragh, Campo, & Olson, 2009). This research also indicates therapy practitioner beliefs that the SPHM providers have not met the needs of therapy practitioners to use the devices therapeutically. The Program is a face-to-face hands-on continuing education program designed to help occupational therapy practitioners investigate the causes and impacts of client care related injuries, problem-solve alternative direct care options and practice therapeutic use of SPHM devices and techniques.
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