Are you a certified nurse aide or a student who is preparing to graduate from a CNA program? Have you been concerned about potential back injuries resulting from your job? While back injuries are quite common in this occupation, there are several steps that you can take to avoid them! Read on to find out what these steps are.
Exercise and Stay in Shape
First and foremost, it is essential for you to stay in shape. By keeping yourself at a proper weight and exercising regularly, you can increase your strength and lifting ability. This does not mean that you need to participate in exhaustive exercise regimens. However, spending a little time each day participating in one or more of the following activities can help to keep you in top shape.
- Jogging or Walking
- Swimming or Rowing
- Push Ups
Lift With Your Arms
Secondly, it is important that you learn how to lift and move heavy objects. The proper techniques for lifting and moving heavy objects are typically taught to aspiring CNAs during the clinical portion of their training programs. Never lift with your back. Always use the power of your arms to lift and move anything that is heavy!
Use Lifting Devices When Necessary
Another effective way to avoid back injuries as a CNA is to make use of lifting devices when necessary. Remember that you are not super-human, and sometimes you will need help lifting or moving patients and heavy objects. Almost all medical facilities today have special mechanical lifting devices that are designed to help you lift or move patients or bulky objects that you otherwise would not be able to handle.
Ask for Help if Needed
In many cases, simply getting the help of another CNA is all that is required to lift heavy objects and avoid back injuries. This method is best when mechanical lifting devices are not available. Additionally, getting the assistance of a coworker can help you lift and move patients who are excessively obese.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
This may sound quite simple, but wearing comfortable shoes can make a big difference when you are on your feet all day. Never wear shoes that have any type of heel when working as a CNA, The best shoes for this profession are flats that are made out of leather and have excellent shock absorbers.
Get Plenty of Rest
Now, you may be wondering just what does sleep have to do with preventing back injuries on the job. When you do not get enough rest at night, your body is often weak and tired. Additionally, your brain will not be as sharp. When combined together, all of these factors can result in back injuries when trying to lift or move objects and patients at work.
Wear a Back Support Belt
One can never offer enough praise for back support belts. These specially-made belts are designed to protect your back when lifting patients or cumbersome objects. Many employers supply protective belts to their staff. However, if your employer does not, it is definitely to your benefit to invest in one.
There are many ways to avoid back injuries as a CAN, including making use of lifting devices, wearing comfortable shoes, and staying in top physical shape.