Monday, 19 January 2009

Backs

I have written before about having a painful back after 25+ years of humping patients about. Nowadays I follow a no-lift policy which will hopefully limit any damage done. But yesterday I had to deal with a large man who was lying on the trolley making no effort to sit himself up. His relatives came to me and asked if I could lift him up the bed, bearing in mind this man was bigger than I am and weighed more than me I refused and said that I don't lift patients. Before I could get a chance to say that I would get some help and some lifting aids they were asking if one of the girls (female nurses) could lift him? I'm afraid I exploded a bit and asked through very gritted teeth that if I as a 13 stone 5' 9" male had refused to lift, what made them think that a 9 stone 5' 2" female was going to do it? Apparently female nurses have superhuman strength and can lift several times their own body weight. No wonder the biggest complaint from nurses is "my back is hurting today" and back pain is one of the main reasons for staff having to leave nursing early.

4 comments:

Louise said...

I can walk into a patients house and pretty much size up there and then whether I need another crew to help remove them safely.......... its usually when I look at the patient and my back aches with the thought of lifting them.

The one advantage you guys have in hospital is space. Try getting a 20stone patient from behind a door in an over cramped bedroom before getting them pasted the chair lift they've so lovingly had installed!!

Mike said...

How true. I think sometimes that nursing's worst occupational hazard is the size of the patients we care for.

gab said...

I know when I was nursing assisant I refused to lift the larger people, even when I had a lift to help I was worried about my back. Then what happens I lift my sister outta my car and bam just like that I not only hurt my back I screwed up my spine. First they said I wouldnt walk again, but I did, Now though its going backwards and I need a cane to walk up to 50 feet. If going farther than that I best have a scooter other wise I cant walk without falling.

Anne said...

we had a guy once it took 6 firefighters to hall onto our cart (trolley for you i think)......apparently they got called to this guys house often and it usually took 2 squads to just lift him off the floor the times they didnt need to bring him in.....sad for the pt but even worse for the nurses once the fireman leave b/c then we need to move him all on our own!