On any given day, a single nurse is estimated to lift 1.8 accumulated tons in one shift. The nursing industry is consistently at the top of the list for most work-related injuries. In addition to lifting, the nursing industry requires a lot of pushing. It’s for this reason that even with mechanical devices to help lift patients, nurses sustain musculoskeletal disorders so frequently that it cuts their careers short in many cases.
If you see what a nurse is required to do, the recommended guidelines for lifting and pushing may surprise you. The maximum limit for manual lifting is only 35 pounds. Anything over that requires assistance form a mechanical device. The push and pull limit is 20% of the nurses weight. If a nurse weighs 140 pounds, he or she should only be pushing 28 pounds or less. If you’ve ever been in a hospital, you’ve probably seen plenty of nurses and other employees pushing carts, beds, and other things that weigh more than 20% of their body weight.
The focus on helping nurses lift has been extensive, but the devices to help push are outdated in many health care settings. One popular item is a motorized cart. These carts are built to help transport things like linens and equipment. There are problems with these carts, though. Some of them only start the push. The nurse is still left on her own to maneuver and stop it. Worse, the wheels or power of some carts aren’t strong enough to effectively move over carpet. Finally, motorized carts may help transport many smaller items, but a separate device is still needed to push bigger things, like patient beds.
Hospitals using power tugs are finding success in moving both large and small items. The battery-operated tug is small and easy to handle, so it can be used for any pushing task. They eliminate the need to buy both a bed-pusher and a motorized cart.
Tugs are so powerful that they are used to transport:
- Soiled linen carts
- Carts carrying heavy unopened boxes of supplies
However, they are easy and small enough to attach to carts carrying:
- New linens
- Monitors and equipment
- Food and meds
Creating safer moving options for nurses means safer patient handling. Not only does the equipment move patients more easily, but also the nurses are spared of a lot of fatigue and pain that may compromise safety at the end of a shift.
Since the push limitations are so strict, it is ideal to have equipment that can do both the heavy and lighter pushing. Power tugs like the Load Mover are strong enough to move everything and maneuverable enough to make sharp and awkward turns. They require no training and have advanced safety features. The Load Mover attachments can be customized to fit existing carts and beds. All a hospital needs to use a Load Mover is an apparatus on wheels.
Patient and employee safety is a high priority in the health care setting. Technology has been instrumental in providing the best safety protocols. Today the powered tug is one of the most practical and efficient pieces of equipment a hospital can implement to maintain a high standard for patients and staff. For more information on how Load Movers can improve safety at your facility, visit http://www.loadmoverinc.com/.