Ergonomic study of nursing tasks in surgical hospital services

By Carneiro, P.; Villarroya, A.; Colim, A.; Torres, M.; Arezes, P.

Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing



Nurses are exposed to Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD) risk factors mainly due to biomechanical overload caused by patient handling, among other tasks. In order to specifically assess the nurses’ patient handling risks and also to evaluate their musculoskeletal symptoms frequency, Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) method and Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire were applied, respectively, in the surgical internment services of a central hospital in northern of Portugal. First, a data collection was carried out, and then an objective risk assessment was performed by observing the different postures adopted. Results show that the majority of nurses reported musculoskeletal pain in several body regions, being the lumbar and cervical regions the most affected. The REBA assessment showed that patients handling is a task with a significant WMSD risk, mainly due to force application and awkward postures adoption. The main contributes of this work consisted in giving a special attention to the working conditions in the analyzed environments, and also highlight the need to develop new strategies to prevent WMSD, in order to avoid absenteeism and an increasing development of musculoskeletal problems among nurses.


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