Training Center is SMART Solution to Staff Education and Decreases Nursing Injuries and Lost Work Days

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Karen B. Koss, RN, BSN, MSN
Judith A. Niemi, RN, BSN, MSN
Nursing Staff Development, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Covington, KY

Learning Objective 1: identify healthcare giver risks of musculoskeletal injury and limitations of the ‘coach’ model in education in safe patient handling.

Learning Objective 2: state the benefits of a training center in educating staff in safe patient handling techniques and equipment

RNs ranked 5th in occupations with work related musculoskeletal injuries involving days away from work (2007, BLS). Developing and maintaining a comprehensive safe patient handling program was undertaken at SEMC.
Launched in 2007, the program’s model for staff education was house wide training, with ongoing training using the 'coach' model- the international standard for safe patient handling staff education. Five months into the program, training needs were not being met.
A major reason for ergonomic program failure is staff training (Nelson, 2008). Challenges include: covering training on 3 shifts/ 7 days a week, trying to accomplish training during orientation, one shot training is rarely effective, and coach turn over. Identified solutions include: training during orientation, using peer trainers, annual competency evaluations, refresher training, and hiring more than one coach per unit. A coach retention study showed turnover rate was 2.4 years (Haney, L. and Knibbe, N., 2008).
The SMART Training Center provides a setting for staff training during orientation regardless of shift, refresher training, technique updates, technique correction, annual competency evaluation, and problem solving. Training is done by peers. Training is not subject to turnover and is not conducted on the unit- so equipment is not tied up, patients are not used, and staff are not responsible for a caseload during training.
The Center opened January 2008. Comparing the first three quarters of 2008 to 2007, staff injuries reduced 42%; lost work days reduced 32%.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work, 2006. 2007 Nov 8.
Nelson, Audrey. Top Ten Reasons Why Ergonomic Programs Fail. Abstract from,8th Annual Safe Patient Handling & Movement Conference (2008), Orlando, FL.
Haney, L. and Knibbe, N. Building & Keeping Strong SPH Programs. Abstract from, 8th Annual Safe Patient Handling & Movement Conference (2008), Orlando, FL.