Study Identifies High-Risk Nursing Tasks in Labor and Delivery

February 1, 2012 | Risk Management News

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High-risk nursing tasks should be discussed among staff in an attempt to enhance their awareness and to create a culture of safety to prevent work-related injuries, concludes a study published in the January/February 2012 issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing. The study, which was conducted in a 22-room labor and delivery unit at women’s hospital with 8,500 annual deliveries, used surveys to identify care activities in labor and delivery that were performed with high frequency, those that required high exertion, and those that had the greatest potential to cause injury. The researchers grouped these care activities into three categories: high-exertion tasks, tasks requiring awkward body postures, and tasks related to the culture of safety. High-exertion tasks included moving patients in labor, delivery, or recovery beds to other locations; breaking delivery beds and applying stirrups; assisting dependent patients with mobility in bed; and pushing medical equipment and delivery carts.

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