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Good technique not enough for nurses to avoid back injuries

What's not to love about nurses? Their days are filled with hard work, empathy, and caregiving. Nurses are invaluable aids to a hospital's doctors and provide comfort to vulnerable patients. But the long days and nights of helping others can take a toll. And there is no shortage of ways in which a nurse could suffer an injury during a shift. For example, one common hazardous situation nurses face is having to manually move patients. And surprisingly, a nurse can actually be the victim of his or her training.

A nurse may be taught that good lifting technique is the key to avoiding an injury. Proper body mechanics call for bending at the hips and knees while keeping the back straight while lifting a patient. But university study found that this method contains many inherent dangers for nurses. For example, it is safer to lift an object when you can keep it close to the body, but nurses cannot get that close to patients who are lying in a bed.

So the best option for nurses is to use mechanical assistance equipment. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration recommends that health care facilities implement the use of these devices. OSHA also has an online toolkit that hospitals can access to learn more about safe lifting practices for nurses.

But there is simply no way to eliminate all of lifting dangers that nurses face on a daily basis. And a back injury could be devastating for a nurse. One would like to think that if a nurse was injured on the job, he or she would be fairly compensated without question. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

If you are a nurse who has been injured on the job, it is possible that you will be unable to perform your duties until you have properly recovered. And a serious injury could even keep you off the job permanently. Therefore, you may want to discuss your situation with an Illinois workers' compensation attorney. The attorney could work to help you get benefits that are compensatory to your needs.

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