In a study conducted by Nurture in fall 2013, 35 percent of clinicians and nurses reported being injured at least once on the job—the bulk of those injuries coming from patient transfers. Nearly half of the 303 survey recipients said they were responsible for performing patient transfers more than once a week.

Those injuries result in caregivers who have to miss shifts or alter their work activities. While half of the respondents said they felt their work environments are supportive in preventing injury or pain, they did suggest some changes:

                - 25 percent desire updating equipment and furniture

                - 23 percent wanted physical space arranged to better align with patient needs

In a release on the study, Rosalyn Cama, president and principal interior designer, Cama Inc. (New Haven, Conn.), and board of directors’ chair, The Center for Health Design, suggested observing why and where these unsafe behaviors occur and imagining solutions that modify risky behavior.

“Workplace health and safety risks are present in all business sectors; in healthcare, however, patient handling rises to the top of the list,” she said.

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