Workplace Ergonomics for Medical Professionals
No matter what kind of job you have, every workplace can take a toll on the body. This month, we’ll look at a variety of professions, identifying risks to health and well-being as well as offering helpful tips and solutions for common conditions. Today we spotlight a very special profession near and dear to our hearts—medical personnel!
First, a huge thank you to all the medical professionals who take care of us all, day in and day out—we’re talking nurses, dentists, MDs, surgeons and the like. We so appreciate all your hard work.
But, we’ve got to ask—who’s taking care of you?
What’s Hurting Our Healers?
Medical personnel are among the highest at-risk professions for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). In fact, around 12 percent of nurses leave their profession “for good” due to pain, and 38 percent suffer from occupational back pain that requires leave from work—this is largely due to patient handling, lifting and other required physical tasks.
For those like surgeons or dentists, who spend almost half of their work days in a strained position, hand, wrist and carpal tunnel complaints are the most common—in fact, in 2011, a whole 87 percent of dentists reported suffering from at least one MSD.
MSD Prevention Tips
How can medical personnel keep it healthier on the job? Here are some helpful techniques, ranging from simple posture changes to more long-term solutions like chiropractic.
Patient Handling: Keep as close to the patient as possible, tightening your abdominal muscles and keeping your back straight. Do not allow the patient to grasp you around the neck.
Lifting: Use your leg muscles when lifting—DO NOT rotate or twist the spine—and move your entire body in the direction of the transfer. Concentrate on increasing flexibility and core strength. Form patient lift teams or use lift equipment when possible.
Posture: Maintain equal weight distribution on each foot, keeping your spine straight. When seated at your stool, make sure your legs stay at a 90 degree angle. Keep your elbows down when working, level with the height of your task.
A Long-Term Solution
Working positive, healthy habits into the workplace can go a long way for MSD pain relief, however, for the best results, it’s time to see a chiropractor. Chiropractic care can treat any type of pain or discomfort, encouraging the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Chiropractors focus on the overall health and well-being of the nervous system—and those in the medical field know how important an optimally functioning nervous system is. It helps keep you and your loved ones healthy—naturally, with no side effects.