Craig is a safety consultant in the mid-west. He received a telephone call from the Director of Countryside Care Center (a 207-bed nursing home facility in Aurora, Illinois that employs 65-70 nurse aides to work with residents and a total staff of 160 employees).
When the Director explained that he wanted to hire Craig as a consultant to improve safety, Craig initially thought: “How dangerous can a nursing home be?” He soon learned. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2000, the average nursing home injury and illness rate was 14.2 per 100 full time employees. Comparable rates include: coal mining (6.2), construction workers (10.8), and truck drivers (13.8).
Nurse aides assist residents in many day-to-day tasks. One of the most hazardous (to the aides) is physically moving the residents to-and-from beds, chairs, and the toilet. The Director explained that the nurse aides were taught “safe” lifting techniques and to use a “two-person” lift whenever handling residents. However, despite this training and the adoption of what most consider the industry’s “best practices,” nurse aides are continuing to experience a high rate of injuries (especially back injuries) leading to Workers’ Compensation injuries claims.
Craig has read about healthcare safety training and mechanical lifting devices but is unsure what would be the best advice to improve safety and decrease injuries.
In a 2-3 page report, prepared in APA style with at least two references, do the following:
- Recommend to Craig a more effective safety program he could suggest to the Director of the nursing home to reduce injuries
- Advise Craig about any equipment that could be purchased to mechanize the lifting process for residents
- Suggest to Craig a safety incentive program that you think could be implemented to incentivize the staff to reduce injuries and be cost-effective
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