Title of Work

A patient lifting intervention for preventing the work-related injuries of nurses

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

January 2004





Source Publication

Journal of Work

First Page


Last Page



The average age of nurses is projected to be 50 years in 2010 [17]. Because nurses are older, a work injury prevention program should change how nurses lift patients. The purpose of this evidence-based practice improvement project was to examine a new lifting intervention.METHOD:An evidence-based process was used to implement an effective lifting intervention, including a back school, a lift team, and mechanical lifting equipment, on the orthopedic and neurology units in a Minnesota hospital. A two-week pilot determined if enough work would be generated to justify hiring a permanent lift team. Then the entire lifting intervention was studied on the two units.RESULTS:The injuries for the two units decreased from 21 to 9 injuries, while the salary and work replacement costs were $48,220 and $2,560 in 2001 and 2002, respectively. The lift team averaged 80 lifts per day and 95% of the nursing staff attended the back school.CONCLUSION:The lift team and new mechanical lifting equipment were successfully disseminated resulting in significant reductions in costs. Suggested improvements include additional supervision and lift team scheduling changes, regular staff meetings, and ongoing education.