The Problem with Using SPHM Programming as The Singular Interventional Approach to Addressing Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Nurses



For the past two decades, the focus of reducing injuries among health care workers (HCWs), particularly nurses, has been to eliminate the physical and/or ergonomic risk factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This has been emphasized through interventional approaches such as safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) programming. However, this approach has incurred many challenges and has not been universally adopted by healthcare facilities throughout the United States. Perhaps, its biggest challenge is that it fails to view the nurse as a whole and does not address the problem from a biopsychosocial perspective. Eliminating physical and/or ergonomic risk factors associated with work-related MSDs is only one part of the solution. To make an effective impact on nurses, we must explore and understand the complexities of the interrelationships between the biological, psychological, and social causal pathways. This knowledge will allow us to better address the challenges of SPHM programming and provide us with a better foundation for future interventional approaches.

Latvala, S M.

Keywords: Public health, nurses, musculoskeletal disorders, safe patient handling, causes

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