In a given day, nurses have been estimated to lift a total of 1.8 tons in a single shift—yes, nearly 2 tons!—making it no wonder they consistently rank as having one of the highest incidence rates of back, neck, and shoulder injuries. Consequently, more than one-third of all U.S. nurses miss work due to some sort of musculoskeletal disorder.1,2
More often than not, these high incidence rates are tied to improper handling or transferring of patients. But while that is well documented as one of the highest risk factors in keeping healthcare workers out of work, handling heavy or bulky medical equipment is right behind it.2
Carrying the Load—The Strain of Heavy Patient Positioners
Patient positioners are common accessories used in surgical or imaging suites and help ensure proper positioning while providing stability and comfort for the patient. But what may not be as commonly known is how heavy or bulky positioners can be.
Many traditional positioners are made from stabilizing materials such as gel and are frequently chosen for their ability to move with patients to reduce pressure or shear. However, solid gel can be extremely heavy and cumbersome to manage, making them especially challenging for nurses and other staff who are routinely required to transport and set them up for various procedures.
With at least half of all nurses having reported experiencing some type of back pain due to excessive lifting,2 regular handling or carrying of heavy equipment such as positioners can take an even greater toll on staff who are already lifting a “ton” every day.
But as staff are often needed to transport positioners, how can facilities help reduce this heavy burden?
Lightening the Load—All the Benefits of Gel, Only Lighter
AliMed’s AliLite™ Precontoured Positioners are a unique hybrid design, combining all the pressure-relieving properties of gel with a lightweight inner foam core that is 50% lighter than gel-only positioners—making them much lighter and easier for staff to handle without sacrificing any of the positioning benefits of their gel counterparts.
Between lifting patients and managing their care, nurses already have a huge load to tackle in their everyday job functions. Handling heavyweight patient positioners doesn’t have to be one of them.