Report Discusses MSD Prevention Practices for Nursing Staff
A new document published by IRSST, a nonprofit scientific research organization in Quebec, Canada, is intended to help raise awareness about nursing staff and musculoskeletal disorders. The document is based on a study conducted last year that examined the conditions that influence the application of MSD prevention practices. Researchers surveyed a representative sample of nursing staff in Quebec’s health services network; facilitated two focus groups of nursing staff and managers; and reviewed the literature on the uptake and application of MSD prevention practices. IRSST’s new report is intended to help nursing staff, occupational health and safety professionals, employers, and others understand the factors that influence the application of MSD prevention practices in healthcare. The document is divided into six sections that explain each of the main factors identified by researchers: support and commitment of management; occupational health and safety culture; evaluation and feedback; organization of work; work environments; and training in the workplace. In addition to offering training sessions adapted to each workplace, IRSST encourages healthcare employers to enlist the support of management and promote a culture that facilitates the health and safety of nursing staff. IRSST researchers also suggest providing evaluations of and feedback on the application of preventive practices as part of this integrated approach. “Research has shown that the impact of training is limited when it comes to reducing MSDs, even if training remains the preferred prevention approach in the health sector,” the document concludes. “Regarding the choice of preventive practices associated with MSDs, the recent literature recommends multiple prevention interventions for greater effectiveness, in which training is only one element.”