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Nurses' Training Can Reduce Patient Handling Injuries

Study finds contextual learning works better than classroom-based education

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses are less likely to cause injury to patients through incorrect handling if they are given contextual training on safe handling procedures, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

Marc L. Resnick, Ph.D., and Roderick Sanchez, O.T.R., of Florida International University in Miami, conducted a study of 16 nurses who were assigned to one of four training protocols. The nurses' posture was observed, as was their compliance with safe posture practices, and their method of patient handling was evaluated at baseline and after training.

The researchers found that nurses in all four training protocols improved their posture when lifting patients and had better compliance with safe patient handling practices; however, the most effective form of education was contextual training, suggesting that training should be tailored to individuals and be relevant within the context of their work.

"The high incidence of back injuries during patient handling and the resulting financial and human costs to emergency nurses warrant continuing investigation to identify the most effective training interventions," the authors write. "Emergency care providers must offer training that minimizes the risk of injury to nurses and can be transferred to the hectic and complex environment of the emergency department."

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