Nearly 90% of nurses working across 21 healthcare facilities in Mumbai and Thane complain of musculoskeletal disorders, said a study conducted by researchers at Nirmala Niketan College of Home Science. Musculoskeletal disorder results from overuse and misuse of a particular body part, said experts.
Around 89% of the nurses, who were interviewed by the researchers to understand their working conditions, complained of lower back pain. “While a majority complained of back pain, others complained of wrist and leg pain. Nurses have a physically demanding job, as they are expected to reposition patients which strain their body also,” said Roopa Rao, who specialises in Ergonomics (a science of designing workplace with workers in mind).
Doctors said any forceful, repetitive and awkward activity leads to tissue breakdown over time. Rao said lifting devices should be provided to the nurses, so their physical strain can be reduced. During the study, eight out of the ten nurses interviewed admitted the pain interfered with their ability to perform at work.
Apart from the physically straining work, the nurses spent almost ten hours at duty, even when their shift timings are eight hours. “They are also deprived of a planned break. Most of their breaks are when there are no duties related to patients to be performed,” said Rao, adding most nursing homes lack any resting area for nurses.