A Guide to Implementing Ergonomic Principles and Tools to Enhance Caregiver Wellness

Tuesday, 28 May, 2024

A Guide to Implementing Ergonomic Principles and Tools to Enhance Caregiver Wellness

Ergonomics, Efficiency and Ease

Comfort on the job starts with ergonomics: the science of designing the job to fit the worker and not the other way around, considering the furniture and equipment in the working environment. Three key elements must come together for ergonomic working, which we call the Ergonomic Equation. It explains how neutral posture, voluntary motion and rest time add up to working comfortably.

In a physically demanding job like nursing, ergonomics becomes even more critical to the work experience. Manual patient handling, long shifts, hours spent standing, and challenging work environments can lead to cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) like carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Daily nursing work runs all these risks. This physical discomfort or pain can distract nurses and impact the care they provide.

But an ergonomic environment and tools can help mitigate these risk factors and help increase efficiency and satisfaction on the job. Ergonomic improvements can include customising both wall-mounted and mobile workstation desk heights for each worker, setting proper monitor viewing heights and distances from the viewer, and upgrading older workstations that aren’t designed to accommodate computer use.

Choosing and adapting the right equipment and workstations, and implementing workstyle changes that follow the Ergonomic Equation, can help decrease a nurse’s physical stress, reducing the chance of injury and mental toll on the job.

Identifying and Healing the Documentation Pain Points

Healthcare organisations can improve the nursing experience by tackling the most time-consuming part of their shift: charting and documentation. Equipment that provides efficiency and comfort can help prevent injury and free up time from tedious, yet necessary tasks to care for patients.

Nurses themselves agree, with 95% of healthcare providers surveyed by Ergotron stating that having better, more ergonomic equipment could improve their health and well-being. By improving this workflow with ergonomic principles and equipment that address top documentation pain points, healthcare leaders can help enhance nurses’ physical and mental health.

Documentation Pain Points for Nurses

Inefficient Workflows

Documentation at the point of care can help decrease inefficiencies, reduce the number of errors made and allow the nurse to stay by a patient’s bedside rather than leaving the room to complete a chart.

Current hospital designs and workstations don’t always support that type of workflow. Centralized charting and documentation stations outside the patient room impede a nurse’s ability to communicate with patients or keep them within their line of sight for monitoring. Many hospitals aren’t equipped with workstations in the patient’s room or mobile solutions, requiring a nurse to visit a centralized nursing station to perform those duties.

This breaks the communication between patient and nurse while contributing to an increased likelihood of errors.

Ergonomic workstations at the point of care can solve these pain points. Easily adjustable workstations allow a nurse to sit or stand depending on their comfort and how they want to interact with the patient. Screens that can be repositioned give nurses the opportunity to look patients in the eye as they communicate while still having easy access to documentation.

Select Ergonomic Workstations that:

Reach out to your local Ergotron representative for a consultation on Ergonomic Healthcare Solutions.

Email: robin,burgess@ergotron.com Mobile +61 421 080 303

Images: Supplied.

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