The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors. For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product.
This week’s Friday Five is going to be focused on healthcare providers.
Surgery is a physically demanding task for the surgical team. Being that surgeons are people too, they come to work with some of the same nagging aches and pains that all of have. This study by Susan Hallbeck et al. looked at the impact of surgeons taking small breaks to stretch and exercise during surgeries longer than 2.5 hours or more than 4 hours of cumulative surgery during an op day. Participating surgeons noted a significant reduction in shoulder pain and felt that the microbreaks were not distracting to surgical performance.
In relation to the above mentioned paper, researchers in Italy looked at the postures and positions related to surgical performance. For those in the realm of ergonomics, it is no surprise that the ability to control the height of the surgical table reduces the risk of musculoskeletal complaints.
Researchers looked at the human factors involved in performance of nursing tasks and developed a methodology that increased direct patient contact time which resulted in a reduction in missing medicines which caused a decrease in lost time in tracking down medications. It’s important to look at the way we do things and determine what makes our jobs easier and what tasks take away from being able to perform our primary functions.
The last two papers today involve Neal Wiggerman from Hill-Rom. The first paper looks at the impact of the placement of brake pedals and hand controls on hospital beds and the required forces to manipulate the bed.
The second paper looks at the impact of powered drive units of bariatric beds for pushing, pulling, maneuvering into elevators, controlling ramp descents, and stopping when compared to non-powered bariatric beds. The powered units demonstrate significant impacts across the spectrum. It was nice to see the inclusion of controlling the descent on ramps. We have performed on-site measurements in several hospitals and this is an area that is often forgotten as many hospitals don’t have significant ramps. However, when we were measuring demands for patient transporters at a hospital in Philadelphia, the hospital was comprised of several buildings purchased at different times on a hilly property. As the hospital acquired the buildings, connecting ramps were built as none of the buildings had floors at corresponding heights. Due to the ramps, pushing and pulling forces in this hospital had a 25% greater requirement than in similar hospitals with no intra-floor ramps.