Preventing injuries to nurses starts in the classroom

April 01, 2015

Nursing student

Nursing is a calling. It’s beyond a profession – nurses transform the health and wellbeing of their communities. They are leaders; champions for their patients; passionate and emphatic voices for the sick and needy.

Care providers symbolize one of Regis University’s fundamental Jesuit values of higher education: men and women for and with others. It embodies the spirit of giving and providing service to those in need and standing with the poor and marginalized.

Unfortunately, making a difference in people’s lives is coming at a cost; nurses are suffering on-the-job injuries at a high rate.

National Public Radio (NPR) is running an investigative series on nursing injuries in the U.S. that’s uncovering some startling facts about the rate of on-the-job injuries for nurses. According to surveys provided to NPR by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 35,000 back and other injuries among nursing employees every year. Many of these injuries are sustained lifting and moving patients – an action nurses are called upon to perform daily. In fact, statistics from the BLS show that nurses have a higher rate of musculoskeletal injuries than construction workers, firefighters and landscapers. Nursing injuries can be career-threatening, causing them to miss work and, in some cases, pursue options other than bedside care.

While preparing to become a nurse, patient safety is just as important as learning how to protect your own body. It can be intimidating as you work with patients when they’re vulnerable. Plus, it’s difficult to apply training and technique to situations when the unexpected is likely to happen. At Regis, we use technology to allow students to simulate real-world scenarios in our Simulated Health Center. The 12-room facility allows for training in a safe and less stressful environment.

“It’s a good way to practice in a safe environment without having real consequences,” said Annie Howard, a student in the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

The simulation lab also brings together students from different disciplines from the schools of nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy and counseling to promote inter-professional learning. Collaborative learning combined with safety propels students into nursing leadership positions.

Learn more about how Regis is preparing nurses to advance patient care and protect their own bodies at work.