The American Nurses Association (ANA) has released national interdisciplinary standards for safe patient handling and mobility. The standards “are designed to infuse a stronger culture of safety in health care work environments” and are intended to protect both health care workers and patients from injury. ANA assembled a working group of experts to develop these standards, including nurses, occupational and physical therapists, safety and ergonomics experts, and risk management specialists.
According to ANA, “no broadly recognized government or private sector standards for safe patient handling and mobility exist, and regulations adopted in several states with safe patient handling laws are inconsistent.”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that nursing assistants suffered the most injuries and illnesses related to musculoskeletal disorders of all occupations in 2011, while registered nurses suffered the fifth most. ANA’s initiative to eliminate manual patient handling was launched a decade ago.
Learn more about these standards on ANA’s website. A free sample of the publication is available as well as other resources related to safe patient handling, including answers to frequently asked questions and a list of those who participated in the working group.
AIHA® submitted comments on the standards during the public comment period last year, and adopted a position statement, “Safe Handling of Patients and Residents,” back in 2009.