Inside the news: Illinois hospital retains nurses by giving their backs a break

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, October 14, 2008

Back injuries are on the rise among healthcare workers as heavier patients need more and more assistance. But Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL, does not expect its nurses to be superheros.

According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), 12% of nurses leave the profession every year as a result of back injuries. So to reduce injuries and retain staff, Memorial Medical Center—a 2006 ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® recipient—has implemented labor-saving devices, such as:

  • Permanent ceiling-mounted lifts for patients in five rooms.
  • Vocera—a wireless communication badge that allows nurses to reach each other—and other staff—instantly. More than 600 staff members at Memorial use the technology, which cost the hospital approximately $500,000.

The hospital has also placed labor-saving devices at patients’ bedsides, including:

  • Gait belts, which fasten around a patient's midsection, providing staff with handles to help move the patient.
  • Plastic mover sheets, which are placed under a bed sheet to help nurses move patients without scratching them.
  • EZ mat, a portable, inflatable mattress that is placed under a patient. Tiny holes under the mattress create a cushion of air, allowing the patient and mattress to move easily.

Source: The State Journal-Register


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