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Back Injury Among Healthcare Workers:

Causes, Solutions, and Impacts


William Charney, Consultant, Camino Island, Washington, USA
Anne Hudson, Consultant, Coos Bay, Oregon

 

 

Dedication:

"This book is dedicated to the thousands of back-injured healthcare workers who have sacrificed their well-being, and often their careers, to painful injuries from manually lifting patients. It is the authors' hope that this book will lead to implementation of No Manual Lifting of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and home health through the use of technology by nursing staff or specially-trained Lift Teams. We also hope that states will correlate the national nursing shortage with nursing injury and will pass Zero Lift for Healthcare legislation to halt the unnecessary loss of healthcare workers to preventable disabling injuries. Finally, we look forward to the day when nursing organizations will negotiate for retention of back-injured nurses, including, when necessary, provision by employers of Permanent Light Duty nursing work."



"The most definitive thing I've seen on back injuries in healthcare."
 
 "Back Injury among Healthcare Workers...should be in the library for all nursing faculty
as you are teaching skills that are not evidence-based." 
Pat Quigley, PhD, ARNP, CRRN, President Florida Nurses Association 

“Our project planning group relied on the excellent information in your book when starting up our lift teams.  We have been going strong for nearly 2 years, and the success we've had is very similar to what studies have shown!  The book is very helpful and I'm endorsing it."  
Benjamin Richards, Safety Officer, Oregon Health & Science University.  7-27-04

"I think nursing is the only profession that when you get injured on the job - they throw you away!  We should have the same protection as fire fighters, police officers, etc!"  
Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio, RN, PhD.  8-23-06.

 "I have to tell you it was a thrill meeting you again at the Florida conference. 
You are the best advocate out there.  Keep up the work.” 
Paula Pless, Director of Zero Lift Programs.  Kaleida Health.  Buffalo, New York.  5-17-07. 

"You speak so well, Anne, you make a very difficult and shocking subject
actually funny which probably makes it more heart wrenching."  
Louise O'Shea, President/CEO, O'Shea and Associates,
Manual Handling Risk Management, Australia and USA.  5-24-07. 



Please email comments on the book to Anne at anne@wingusa.org.
Comments will be posted by date received unless the sender requests to sign another way.

Feedback on Back Injury among Healthcare Workers: Causes, Solutions, and Impacts:





“I am a back-injured nurse. First, I was a CNA, then a nurse. It’s everything – pulling patients over in the operating room, not getting help to lift, bending over to lift in positions that body mechanics does no good. It’s everything.” 3-30-10

“It just adds up, and you don’t know. You keep working in pain because you’re a nurse. I had a crushed disc. It was supposed to be a laminectomy, but when the surgeon went in there, it was crushed so bad that it took four hours to get it out.” 3-30-10

“Some nurses seem to think it’s stupid to do anything that takes a few more seconds until they get hurt lifting!” 3-10-10

“You need to go around to every hospital in the US, to not only change the law, but to change the culture.” 3-10-10

“It’s true that body mechanics are not enough, but there’s something else. You have to turn nurses around who are lifting badly and saying Oh, I’ve been doing this a long time.” 3-10-10

“If you don’t know the cumulative effect, you say you’re not getting hurt, so you just keep on lifting and lifting and lifting.” 3-10-10

“Where I work they noticed that older nurses are getting hurt, so they get rid of them.” 3-10-10


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“We have a new electronic exam table in our clinic that goes up and down, and already used it for a patient in a wheelchair.” 2-23-10

“I think nurses seeing other nurses getting their backs hurt and getting injured helps them to use the lift equipment.” 2-22-10

“The CNAs are learning in school to use lifts and are the ones who say get the lift. They can be counted on and are quickest to use it.” 2-22-10

“So much teaching needs to be done with our new and future nurses in regards to lifting.” 2-4-10

“My son is a caregiver for people at home, so they can stay at home, instead of a nursing home. The lifting is like moving dead weight.” 1-22-10

“You spoke to our class when I was a student nurse, and I still remember use the lift, use the lift, use the lift. I love our Encore. Some of the others say why don’t we just lift, but I say, get the Encore.” 1-21-10

“I had a four-level fusion of my neck, C3 to C7, seven weeks ago. I’m not trying for workers’ comp. We were taught to lift with their arms around our neck, but I can’t prove it was from being a nurse. I don’t know yet if they’ll give me light duty.” 1-16-10

“In my adult foster home, the ceiling track was the best! We used the track for taking into the bathroom, even lowering into the tub. The track went from the bedroom into the bathroom.” 1-6-10

I’m a CNA student and just have the state board test left. In the nursing home they have two lifts for the whole place. You can go get one and use it, if you can find it.” 1-6-10

“It’s bad that you and so many nurses have been injured. The good now is learning that nurses don’t have to lose our backs. Thanks for all you’re doing.” 12-24-09

“We have a lift and used it this morning on a bariatric patient. We can’t be hoisting these patients around ourselves.” 12-23-09

“People are getting bigger. Nurses have to learn to take care of themselves. They can’t be getting hurt when the equipment is there.” 12-23-09

“The horriblest part of surgery was waking up with these people around grabbing hold of me and just lifting me up. I screamed it hurt so bad.” 11-16-09

“Many nurses just don’t talk about it. They don’t admit being injured at work and just go out under their own insurance.” 11-1-09

“After seeing what I went through, a couple of other nurses said they could see the handwriting on the wall and went for positions that don’t require lifting.” 11-1-09

“A co-worker has a teen-age son with multiple disabilities. She came to work crying one day and couldn’t stop because she’d dropped him, trying to lift him down into the tub. He had to go into residential care.” 10-27-09

“I put myself through college lifting people as a nurse assistant. You don’t think about your work hurting you until you’re going through it yourself.” 10-26-09

“Where I worked, you had no help. We were lifting them dead weight in and out of the tub by ourselves. I didn’t work there long.” 10-26-09

“My big strapping sons over six feet tall work at a feed store where they aren’t allowed to lift over 50 pounds. They make them use a fork lift or hoist. Where is that concern for us nurses?” 10-26-09

“In the busy ICU people don’t always take the time, or have the time, to get the equipment. But when I’ve had a heavy shift, that’s figuratively and literally, my back is really sore.” 10-14-09

“It’s not just about losing your career, but to live the rest of your life in pain. Before, I couldn’t imagine what chronic pain is. Waking up and having to face pain every day of your life.” 10-2-09

“I’m a nurse practitioner in a clinic. A young caregiver came to me with neck pain, and turns out she has osteophytes. Workers’ comp said they would accept ‘muscle strain’ but that her spine problem is not related to her work of lifting people day in and day out. Workers’ comp said she has recovered from her ‘work injury.’ She’s young and never had any neck pain before. Now she can’t go back to work lifting people with her pain, and they’re trying to force her out. She got an attorney to fight it.” 9-17-09

“Where I had my surgery, they have tracks and ceiling lifts in all the patient rooms.” 9-17-09

‘I’m proud of the hard work you’re undertaking for injured workers. Thank you so much for making our voices heard.” 8-20-09

“The back pain is horrible. You can’t sit. You can’t walk. Intercourse is out of the question. It’s just horrible.” 8-12-09

“Hospitals put money aside for nurses to be injured. They say we’ll just get more nurses, and they put money aside for recruiting and training new nurses. The old argument that ‘lift equipment costs too much’ is bogus. They’re already giving the money to workers’ comp for the injuries.” 8-10-09

“Our hospital’s trying but it’s hard to get some of the aides to do what they’re supposed to. Several more have been hurt lifting, me included. There are days my back’s sore and I just tell them I’m not doing it today, get someone else.” 8-10-09

“There was one nurse who got hurt lifting patients. Then she went to home health, and got hurt worse doing that.” 8-8-09

“I have purchased and read your book. It is a tremendous resource.” 8-6-09

“I was with a funeral home and went to pick up bodies from the morgue. There was a lift in the hospital morgue, but we didn’t use it, didn’t take the time. There was a lift in the funeral home, too, but we didn’t always use it either, except when there was a really big body, maybe 400 or 500 pounds. We thought we didn’t have time. Then, my partner and I were both in the hospital at the same time, having back surgery.” 7-30-09

“It’s the day after day lifting. And, then, wham! It hits you all at once. When I couldn’t get out of bed with the pain, that’s when I knew I needed to get some help for my back.” 7-30-09

“I went to another hospital, thinking about changing jobs, but their labor and delivery job description says nurses must lift 50 lbs unassisted and 100 lbs with assistance.” 7-29-09

“Now our hospital has a lift right in the ceiling for bariatric patients.” 7-28-09

“I see your articles in the magazine. It’s a wonderful thing you’re doing for nurses. They need the help.” 7-25-09

“I hurt my back moving a large man and they took my job away. It’s humiliating.” 7-23-09

“It’s sad, but there’s a bias from the occupational health side against nurses who get injured, like they are bad nurses for allowing themselves to get hurt, when, really, they can’t help it with lifting that kind of weight.” 7-23-09

“My mother is a nurse and has talked about the injuries.” 7-23-09

“My daughter is a labor and delivery nurse. She’s been a nurse for four years and has already hurt her back several times and had to take off work. She’s taking classes for her masters’ degree to get away from hurting her back more.” 7-24-09

“My wife does workers’ comp for a care home and she sees a lot of back injuries!” 7-24-09

“Thank-you for your wonderful work and dedication to assisting nurses everywhere!” 7-20-09

“My nurse organization did absolutely nothing for me when I had my back injury. I’m so furious at them, I stopped their journal.” 7-16-09

“My mother is small and handled my father, who was 350 pounds, at home with the lift all by herself for a year.” 7-15-09

“I used to be a hospital nurse. My doctor said he’ll give me injections in my spine and then I’ll need surgery. I’m not sure that’s the way to go. I’ll just live with the pain.” 7-15-09

“I lost my nursing career to lifting patients. And, you know, I wish my injury was only nine to five. Why do we have to keep paying for it on our off hours?” 7-14-09


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“There are many nurses today who don’t know that their back injuries are cumulative from lifting patients. One nurse was trim and fit, always eating right and everything, and said her back pain started not at work but had to learn it was cumulative trauma from lifting patients. Nurses don’t know that, about their injuries being cumulative.” 7-14-09

“Since my back injury, I’ve had more problems with dribbling. When I sit down to go, I can’t feel it. Something inside there was damaged. When I try to tell them about it, they just look at me like I’m getting old.” 7-14-09

“They put me on blood pressure medication because I was so anxious over workers’ comp, what they put me through. When I decided the stress was too much to pursue it anymore, my blood pressure dropped to normal. They forced me out and cheated me.” 7-14-09

“One of the symptoms of low back degenerative disc disease is like hot pain in my rectum. The physiologist told me the nerves are being pinched and it’s not working well.” 7-14-09

“I thought I was alone in this thing until I found you and your website. Putting the book out and doing all this stuff. It’s just amazing. Keep doing what you do.” 7-14-09

“The nurses see a big, strong, new, male nurse and think fresh meat because you know they’re going to ask him to do all the lifting. Men in nursing have to be smart, to protect themself.” 7-7-09

“Nursing students get injured lifting patients before they ever become nurses.” 7-7-09

“You don’t think about getting hurt moving dead bodies, but now they have a lift down there in the morgue.” 7-7-09

“Nobody told me about cumulative injury until I got on the web where I found it under repetitive injury. My physical therapist said she really worries about nurses because they run on adrenaline, taking care of critically ill patients, and don’t feel the pain until waking up the next morning” 7-6-09

“I’m a 20-year nurse and I’m not going to work any more. I was required to lift a 600-pound man. My son works for UPS and can’t lift over 50 pounds. What happened to us nurses? And the crazy part is that we were both under Teamsters. They protected my son. What did they do for me?” 6-29-09

“I have an urge to paint an abstract that depicts how it feels to be injured and disgraced by the employer. Lots of red...” 6-29-09

“Some of the severely disabled babies in the NICU might grow to weigh 200 lbs someday and will need to be lifted. If they go down, their parents go down, too.” 6-27-09

“I’ve kept up with ICU friends who are all slowly getting disabled. One is a male nurse, and you know if men are around, they always ask the men to lift. He’s taking cortisone shots now.” 6-27-09

“When I’m hurting, I feel like I’m just being crushed, like from top to bottom. I was in bed for two weeks with my lower back, miserable. Did that work until I couldn’t take the pain any longer.” 6-27-09

“I feel as passionately as you on this matter. I am a PT who has been forced to go into pediatrics and leave my favored Geriatric long term care center because of the shear brutal strength I don't have.” 6-24-09

“Perhaps temporarily injured nurses make out all right...I do not know...but the permanently injured are destroyed.” 5-29-09

“One day I have the unlimited demands of the care of the sick and injured in my hands. The next day I’m injured and the Work Comp Quasi State Agency paints me as a certified liar and screwball.” 5-29-09

“At our educational service district, one of our guys threw his neck out. He has permanent damage, herniated or bulging disc, from lifting a special ed severely handicapped teenager in the classroom. A year later, he’s still out of work.” 5-15-09

“Classroom aides with special education students get one day of all observation training. No hands-on before they go into the classroom.” 5-15-09

“I’m sure injuries lifting people happen more times than we ever know, with all the CNA’s in nursing homes.” 5-15-09

“I’m a CNA and have hurt my back twice lifting people. I had physical therapy and finally got better. I think it was just a pulled muscle. They have you in places where you have to lift. There’s no way around it. Now I’m in a job where there’s not much lifting.” 5-2-09

“I’ve had two back surgeries and two knee surgeries from pushing gurneys on those carpeted halls. It destroyed my back and knees. I had voc rehab and six months on-the-job training, and am a social worker now, the most sedentary job on the planet.” 4-16-09

“One nurse had a patient fall on her and really hurt her knee when she was helping move him. She can’t do it anymore and lost her job.” 4-16-09

“We used to only have a Hoyer at our nursing home, but now we have a sit-stand lift, too.” 4-16-09

“I’m on an ambulance crew and have a bad back. If they’re over 450 to 500 pounds, we get the special ambulance. Up to that point, we do what we have to do. The fire department is there, too, to help us lift.” 4-16-09

“I’m an RN and have had two back injuries. My doctor says one more and that’s it for me. Yesterday my patient was trying to punch me out and was pooping on the floor. I said why am I doing this to myself?” 4-17-09

“I’m an orthopaedic surgeon. I lean across the OR table for nurses to roll bariatric patients onto my arms. Then I use my core strength to pull them up onto the table. All the while, the nurses are smirking, in our ‘no-lifting’ hospital.” 4-1-09

“I had a new procedure with balloons put in my disc. When I first came back, I didn’t think I could do it, but I’m working as a nurse again.” 4-2-09

“I have a bad back with numbness down my legs and a lot of pain. I had a fusion or else I’d be in a wheelchair. I see others. You can tell the way they walk they’re hurt.” 3-28-09

“They make lift equipment, but the hospital doesn’t want it. They say it costs too much. Workers’ comp is only for a while. If they had to take care of injured nurses the rest of their lives, then they’d get lift equipment.” 3-28-09

“I’m not a nurse but have had a bad back for years. My heart goes out to nurses. I KNOW what they’re going through.” 3-28-09

“I injured my back two months ago…guess what, haven’t heard from anyone at work since the first week!” 3-22-09

“I’ve seen you in the paper and all the good work you’re doing. Way to go!” 3-13-09

“Nurses aides have it rough. They’re over-worked and under-paid. If they get hurt, what are they going to do? Where are they going next?” 3-13-09

“We had to send people to another clinic before, but our clinic has an exam table that elevates now.” 2-24-09

“We have lift equipment but it’s buried. The nurses all do it the old fashioned way. We just recently got draw sheets, but some of them still just pull them up under the arms.” 2-13-09

“You need to come talk to the nurses at our hospital. I watch the injury slips by the time clock. They say there are not a lot of injuries there, but there are always injuries listed.” 2-13-09

“We have a lift for residents that don’t bear weight at all. For the ones that bear 50% weight, two of us lift them. A lot of people get hurt. Some don’t come back. For the ones that come back in six or eight weeks, they keep their job.” 2-6-09

“I’m in nurse education and I’m on a mission! I have a safe patient lifting in-service every month. We have a lot of equipment now.” 2-6-09

“The hardest nurses to convince to use lift equipment have been there the longest and act like they can’t be bothered, like you can’t tell them anything.” 2-6-09

“The new nurses remember you from class. They have said, Anne Hudson told us how a back injury changes the way you do laundry, shop, even pick up your child, everything in your life.” 2-6-09

“Our hospital has recently acquired lift equipment due to mine and others' back injuries, and continued, tireless efforts by our employee health nurse.” 2-5-09

“I ask all the nurses I meet, and I meet plenty, what would you do if you got a bad back injury from lifting people? Believe me, they stop and think. People don’t want to get hurt and lose their job.” 2-4-09

“Some of the hospitals in my area have adopted a no lifting policy and either have these types of devices or lifting teams. It would be wonderful if nursing homes would adopt these policies. They seem to be the ones that really need it, but don't want to spend the money.” 2-4-09

“My hospital flaunts hiring a few selected disabled workers, but won’t take back nurses they’ve disabled lifting patients. They hired one woman in a wheelchair who could hardly move a finger but they had her sorting mail. They could keep their disabled nurses on, doing something, but they won’t.” 12-13-08

“Another nurse had a back injury, but there was no way she could consider not going back. She’s a single mom, so she continues on. She’s the first to get the lift and is very careful about what she does now.” 12-13-08

“A physical therapist who worked for workmans’ comp said it’s ridiculous that workman’s comp treats all people like deadbeats.” 12-13-08

“So many get hurt at the care center. That makes them short-handed, and they already don’t have enough people working. One is always trying to do something that takes two, not following safety.” 12-10-08

“When you start down the worker’s comp thing, you have no idea of the twists and turns, the deadlines you might miss, and all that. No one tells you. You’re just moved along.” 12-10-08

“At the rehab place, my mother-in-law’s roommate just had hip surgery. When they were moving her, they dropped her, right into the floor. They had to take her back to surgery for her hip again. Some doctor was really mad.” 12-9-08

“One nurse in her 40’s has a medical file two inches thick, all injuries from being a nurse. Now they’ve discharged her from her job. She went from $60,000, she had a good job, to zero. They foreclosed on her house and she’s left with nothing.” 11-25-08

“As an editor, sometimes it’s hard to bring the stories of injured nurses without bias because some nurses blame and are bitter against their employer, when it’s not just their hospital. The problem is throughout the country.” 11-14-08

“Our ambulance has auto lifting stretchers – a big help. Another ambulance is outfitted for bariatrics with a ramp and wench to pull them up and in.” 11-10-08

“I work at two hospitals. One is trying, with lift equipment. The other’s not doing anything to prevent injuries.” 11-10-08

“My family asked if I wanted to become a nurse. I said no, nurses work too hard, and they get hurt.” 11-4-08

“Every nurse that I’ve talked to, I tell them, ‘Go for your masters. It’s job security. You don’t have any job security. What if you hurt your back? It’d all go down the drain, right back at the starting point.’” 10-20-08

“The family of a woman 350 pounds insisted they could take care of her at home. They brought her back to the nursing home after one of them got injured lifting her.” 10-16-08

“I see a lot of nurses in physical therapy. It doesn’t sound nice, but I’ve noticed that the larger they are, the more likely they are to be nurses.” 10-2-08

“I don’t let the macho nurse aides intimidate me into lifting, when they say they don’t need help, and then they just get in there and lift those heavy people by themselves.” 9-30-08

“We had a sit-stand lift at the care center. It took me two years to get them to buy it. That thing was wonderful! You could change people with no strain.” 9-30-08

“CNA's are hurt even worse by an injury because they don’t have as much education.” 9-30-08

“I worked in workers’ comp for 13 years. My opinion is that it’s a dirty business. They say it’s for people, but it’s all about the money. That’s what it is, a business.” 9-27-08

“I want to become a nurse but I read about all the lifting.” 9-25-08

“I’m a care giver and hurt my shoulder lifting. It’s been a couple of months. I’m having physical therapy and hope I get better and can go back to work.” 9-23-08

“That's the difference between us and the establishment. Nurses care for the patient's outcome, while the hospitals do not care for ours.” 9-22-08

“Being used up and thrown away. It's a shame. In my state, if the Fire and Rescue or the Police Department have an injury, or even a heart attack, they are taken care of by workman's comp for who knows how long. But nurses are thrown away.” 9-15-08

“You know the problem is, when you spend all those years working as a clinical nurse, then you are not trained as a risk manager or case manager or any of those paper work jobs. I was trying to apply today for a job in occupational health but the position was already filled. God Bless you for your advocacy.” 9-15-08

“As a physical therapist, I see a lot of nurse assistants. Right now, there are more with shoulder than back injuries.” 9-2-08

“Your coworkers may value you, your teammates may value you, but it’s the people who dole out the bucks when you’re injured who say “next.” That’s the way it is. It’s a dog eat dog world.” 8-19-08

“We have young nurse aides, 19 and 20 years old, in physical therapy with their back. They lift people like they’ve been taught and told to do, when they shouldn’t be doing it at all.” 8-12-08

"I'm a nurse with a herniated disc with sciatica. The pain is always there, but I am lucky that most of the time I can block it out. I didn't have the opportunity to use the equipment available to us today." 7-26-08

“What you said really turned my head around, and made me see how serious it is, that nurses have their education but earn their living with their back, because if their back gets injured, they don’t want them anymore.” 7-25-08

“Now I’m pregnant and my back’s hurting again. Not in the same way or from the same reason as my injury, but I’m afraid it’ll just hurt more the bigger I get.” 7-6-08

“We have annual competencies on lifting and equipment, when the nurses just like roll their eyes, like they’re bored with it. They just don’t get it, that it could happen to them, until it does.” 7-6-08

“After I graduate, I’m going to go work where they have all the ceiling lifts and things.” 7-1-08

“They came to our nursing class and trained us on the stand-up lift.” 7-1-08

“I’m a first year nursing student. We did clinicals at the nursing home. They had a lift but it was always way down the hall. We did a lot of lifting we shouldn’t have done.” 7-1-08

“I think of you all the time, how you always said ‘don’t lift that.’ Now we all use bags on wheels for carrying things.” 6-25-08

“Your book is right there on the shelf in our unit. I tell everyone that your work is the cause of the changes in our hospital.” 6-21-08

“I’m a nurse and used to work on a medical floor. I was heading toward shoulder surgery from pushing those beds. Around corners with heavy patients was really hard. I changed jobs to an office in the clinic.” 6-13-08

“I thought my RN was job security – it’s not. I had never thought about it, but, if I get hurt, I’m out of a job.” 6-11-08

“CNA’s do all the grunt work. If they get hurt, they don’t have a job.” 6-11-08

“I’ve had four cervical fusions from lifting residents and now I have arthritis. I have to quit CNA work.” 6-9-08

“My mother-in-law is a large woman and needs a lot of help getting up and around. She has a nice home and her other son and wife moved in to help her stay there. As a nurse, I can see it coming. It’s good to know about this equipment. I can see they’re going to need it.” 6-6-08

“My father leans hard on his walker. Now his shoulder is injured or broken and can’t use the walker, so he’s in a wheelchair. We’re afraid this will keep him in the wheelchair and we won’t be able to lift him around.” 6-5-08

“It is a heartache to have lost my nursing career with the negative response from my employer. People need to know how many nurses are being affected by these injuries and the life-altering effects they have.” 5-17-08

“Some of the nurses I know of that got injured are either still working in their same capacity but different shifts to avoid the constant lifting, or, in different capacities as RN's have the ability to do that while LPN's don't.” 5-17-08

“I was headed for nursing school but saw that it wouldn’t work out with my neck. I’ve had C3 to C7 fused. I worked as a nurse aide for a long time so knew what I’d be getting into with nursing. You have to lift everybody.” 5-2-08

“I helped care for my grandmother at home her last months when she had Hospice. She was a great big woman. It took two of us to get her to the side of the bed and turn her over.” 4-28-08

“We are struggling to get through to staff members about the essential need to use these safer methods, the changing of the martyr syndrome that many of us have embraced.” 4-23-08

“Nursing is the only industry that does that, that doesn’t take back nurses with injured backs. All that education and all that experience. It’s just ludicrous.” 4-14-08

“Nurses don’t always know how to speak up for themselves. The LPN wanted to get the lift, but the RN said just lift the patient with her. The RN didn’t get hurt, but the LPN did. She’s back to work now.” 4-14-08

“Workmans’ comp treated me like they thought I earned a nursing degree with the goal of going onto disability.” 4-13-08

“We have equipment setting around but nurses get busy and say, oh, what the hell, and just grab patients and lift.” 4-12-08

“A lot of the nurses are my age and just don’t have the oomph anymore. I have to take care of myself. They get impatient but I say we’re taking a minute to get the lift.” 4-12-08

“I just got disability for my back from years of lifting people as an army nurse. I said I’m tall and I’m a nurse, so, of course I have a bad back. But others talked me into applying and I got it.” 4-4-08

“Having the equipment is one thing, but some nurses don’t take the time for it, or to look for help.” 4-3-08

“You give 100%. What do you get back, after being disabled by your job?” 4-3-08

“As an employee health nurse, it sickens me to see what is happening to nurses today! We are so smart, to be so stupid, when it comes to caring for our own." 4-2-08

“Think about all the times we’ve protected the hospital, with the patients, the families, the doctors. But in the end, they didn’t take care of us, and the end is all that really matters. In their mission statement they say taking care of people is their mission, but that’s all a lot of bull malarkey. We care for our patients and families, but in the end, they don’t take care of us. It’s kind of sad.” 3-29-08

“We’re not nameless and faceless, but we are that when we get hurt and they get rid of us. People don’t know how much you give up having this happen.” 3-29-08

“As soon as a new doctor sees that you’re taking pain meds, you’re labeled an addict and drug seeker. This has sure given me sympathy for all the poor people in pain out there.” 3-29-08

“The head of the nursing school has a back injury. That’s why she’s teaching. But I don’t have a PhD and don’t have the money to get one.” 3-29-08

“I never talked to anyone about my sex life with my husband until I lost it. I broke down and just bawled in the doctor’s office. I’m numb down there, but they just said my back doesn’t look that bad.” 3-29-08

“Two doctors said I was faking, because I need pain medication. I don’t like taking it. It gives me migraines and makes me throw up. I don’t want to need it, and I’ve been discriminated against because I need it.” 3-29-08

“I lost my job with this back injury. I gave up my certification. I’d give anything to be able to go back. Every day I think, am I still a nurse?” 3-29-08

“Nurses are used up until they can’t be used anymore for lifting and then they fire them.” 3-28-08

“Nurses shouldn’t be trying to prove anymore how strong they are, how much they can lift. They need to get over that attitude.” 3-27-08

“We need this equipment in nursing homes. As an NP, I see so many injured from lifting.” 3-26-08

“When I lifted a woman into her wheelchair, my hernia surgery ripped open.” 3-26-08

“We joke that nurses are just one bad lift from unemployment.” 3-22-08

“At a meeting, I told them all that we don’t have to succumb to the hurrah macho thinking of these 20-year veteran CNA's. It has to go into the schools that there’s no reason for nurses to be lifting anymore. We have this equipment that comes right to the bedside. We’re losing too many nurses to lifting injuries.” 3-20-08

“I’m going to give this info to my work. They need to know about this.” 3-16-08

“I never knew about all those lifts. I stop if moving a patient hurts me and say we have to try something else.” 3-16-08

“I’m a CNA in a VA hospital. We have a 400 pound patient who’s so sweet but it takes four of us to move him. He lets us know if we do something that causes him pain, but he’s real nice about it.” 3-15-08

“I work with workers’ comp and see nurses sitting in my office crying all the time. They’re injured and 50 years old and afraid they’ll lose their job.” 3-13-08

“We have a nurse shortage. We can’t keep exploiting nurses like that, letting them get hurt and getting rid of them. There are other jobs, quality assurance, and other jobs. They could be the trainers on lift equipment. There are plenty of things they could do. Why don’t hospitals keep them on and use them? There a shortage.” 3-13-08
In many states, workers’ compensation helps employers return injured workers only to the same position and duties at injury, not into any other position. Employers have no legal obligation to retain nurses who cannot perform “essential functions” of their job. If lifting is deemed an essential function by an employer of a nurse’s position, employers are at liberty to terminate nurses who become back-disabled beyond further lifting.

Though employers are certainly free to retain their injured nurses in other non-lifting nursing positions, there is no legal responsibility to do so. And, so, many employers terminate, rather than retain, nurses disabled by lifting patients in their service.

There’s no question that most patient handling injuries could be prevented with modern lift equipment. Seems that allowing disabling injuries to nurses, by lack of safety equipment, and terminating the nurse victims would be a rich field for ethical study. Anne Hudson, RN


“I’ve thought about what you said, there’s no support, why there’s not more interest in helping back-injured nurses.” 3-13-08

“I have injured discs in my neck. I knew the instant I moved the patient. Pain from my neck instantly shot down my arm into my hand.” 3-13-08

“One year, when you spoke at the Safe Patient Handling and Movement Conference, you’re the only one I’ve ever seen where there was an eruption, a spontaneous standing ovation.” 3-12-08

“I’m my sole provider. You’ve really opened my eyes. I have a child to take care of. I can’t let myself get hurt.” 3-12-08

“My father was in a wheelchair at home and I helped my mother all the time lift him in and out. Now I’m finding out there’s equipment.” 3-12-08

“After my car crash, the MRI showed degenerated and bulging discs. The doctor said I probably had that because of my profession as a nurse.” 3-12-08

“I actually lost my career as an EMT and nursing student to a back injury.” 3-7-08

“Nurses need a new mind-set. They don’t need to prove what she-men they are. They don’t need to get up on that bed and prove they’re so strong they don’t need anybody to help them lift. That’s a lumberjack, logger mentality.” 3-4-08

“When a nurse’s back goes, their career is straight down the tubes. Are nurses blue collar? Nurses are white collar, aren’t they?” 3-4-08
Well, I don’t know. “Blue collar” has traditionally been thought of as manual labor, with lower income, and no higher education. RN’s have a college education, with relatively low income for their responsibility, and are often terminated when disabled by lifting patients and are unable to continue the manual labor of lifting.

While the popular term “professional nurse” denotes the extensive knowledge and expertise required for patient care, the widespread practice of hospitals terminating their nurses disabled by lifting, instead of retaining them in non-lifting nursing positions, shows that a nurse’s job often hinges on the strength of their back.

If the physical strength of an injured nurse is more essential to keeping their job than their brain, that seems more blue collar than white. Nurses may believe they are white collar, but once disabled by lifting, many are treated as blue collar – valuable to their employer only as long as they can perform the hard manual labor of lifting patients. Anne Hudson, RN

“My CNA teachers said to use the lift. It was my co-workers who said they didn’t have time. I told them, ‘Go ahead and lift, but I don’t want to get hurt. You go ahead.’ You have to not care if your co-workers get mad at you. Let them get hurt. I have to save my back.” 3-4-08

 “What you're doing is helping everyone in the healthcare industry, and it is a business.  You're helping them all, whether they're a healthcare worker or a patient.”  2-24-08
 
“As we know from being nurses, even our own profession finds us disposable if we are injured.”  2-21-08
 
“Nurses work very hard, and pay with their health in the end.”  2-21-08
 
“I’m in nursing school.  They tell us ‘don’t strain, get more help, get people in there to help.’  There’s a lift team but I don’t see them use equipment.  They just come and lift.”  2-18-08
 
“Nurses give and give and give.  They’re great advocates for patients.  They’ll do everything for their patients, including wreck themselves up.  And when they turn around, and look for help for themselves, there is none.”  2-13-08
 
“In my work with nurses, I travel all over.  Everywhere I go I hear horror stories.”  2-13-08
 
“Thank you for your advocacy.  All that education, and you get hurt, you’re out.”  2-12-08
 
“Nurse aides, and those who are not nurse aides, helping people in their homes, have no insurance, nothing to help if they’re hurt lifting.”  2-12-08
 
“You don’t know it, but I’m your biggest supporter.  I ask every healthcare worker I meet.  It doesn’t matter, RN, LPN, nurse aide, doctor, any healthcare worker, I ask, ‘Have you read Back Injury Among Healthcare Workers, and have you been to the WING USA website?’ ”  2-4-08  
 
“My back surgery was far worse than my hysterectomy.  I got over having a hysterectomy, but I still have to be careful with my back every day.”  1-29-08
 
“The nurses zip around so fast.  The number of patients to nurses is so high that they don’t take time to use the lift equipment.  Then, if they get hurt, they’re told it’s their own fault.  The only way is a regulation, so they’ll have to use it.”  1-18-08
 
“Nursing personnel are expendable.  They’re put into a ridiculous position for want of a piece of equipment.”  12-19-07
 
“I remember from years ago seeing older women around in town who were alcoholic and drug addicted, bent over and crippled up.  I wondered what happened to them.  Come to find out, they’d been nurses.  I thought who’d want to do that?”  12-15-07
 
“My aunt’s an OR nurse.  They had like a 300 or 400 pound patient and three or four pulling the patient off the table to the stretcher when she hurt her back.  She’s getting her masters’ now, trying to get away from such rough work.”  12-13-07
 
“We had a patient of 400 pounds in our unit.  He had the fanciest bed that turned him, until the doctor took away his turning bed and called him lazy.  I told the doctor we’d be calling him every two hours to help turn the patient.”  12-11-07
 
“Nurses my age want to do the work to care for the patients, but we’re getting where we just can’t.  Nurses are just quitting.  There are only three or four left on my unit and some had worked 20 and 25 years.  And the younger nurses don’t want to do the work to care for patients.  They’re getting paper desk jobs for twice as much money.”  12-11-07
 
“I’m a critical care nurse.  My back hurts all the time from lifting and pulling.  When there’s nobody to help, you still have to take care of your patients.  I want to take care of them, so I just do it myself.”  12-10-07
 
“I need back surgery but am scared to claim a work injury.  If you file work comp, they don’t want you anymore.”  12-9-07
 
“We tear our bodies down taking care of other people’s loved ones.  Then we’re out.  They don’t care.”  12-8-07
 
“I’m 57 years old.  I’ve been nursing for over 30 years.  I could be retired if I was a teacher.  All my friends who are teachers are already retired.  I could have had a civil service job and be retired, and they pay you to come back and work.  I could be making more money.  It upsets me so much I can’t talk about it.”  12-6-07
 
“In this day and age, with the nurse shortage what it is, you’d think nurses wouldn’t be so disposable.”  12-6-07
 
“One nurse hurt her back and was on light duty for two years.  She wanted a position that didn’t have the lifting, but they said they didn’t have a position.  They told her she had to resign and then they would settle with her.  I would be skeptical, but she did what they said.  She resigned.”  12-5-07
 
“Thank you and keep up the good work.  Nurses sure need the help.  I’ve been a nurse for 22 years and have seen a lot of back injuries.”  12-5-07
 
“The best to me is the overhead lift, but nurses don’t take time to use it.”  12-3-07
 
“Hospitals buy lifts for window dressing, to say they have equipment, but nurses don’t use it.  They don’t think it will happen to them.”  12-3-07
 
“I say go get the Smoothie.  If you want to lift them, go ahead, but I’m using the Smoothie.  Then they look at me like what’s wrong with you, but I don’t want to get hurt.”  12-3-07 
 
“The worst part was the treatment I got.  You think everybody cares until you get hurt and inconvenience them.  Then, it’s who gives a hoot.  You’re out.”  12-3-07
 
“When I was in training to be a care partner, they showed us a picture of a couple of kinds of lifts, but we weren’t trained to use them.”  12-3-07
 
“There’s a bad stigma if you get injured.  They said I was on light duty and put me back on my unit, but they didn’t bring in another nurse.  So, I had to ask others to help me and the nurses all gave me the evil eye when I asked for help.”  12-3-07
 
“We put training on lift equipment with the other annual training and required the nurses to demo using it.  We told them that since they were trained, if they got hurt lifting, and weren’t using the equipment, it would go on their evaluation, and they wouldn’t get as much of a raise.  As soon as it hit them in the pocketbook, our work comp was cut in half, because the nurses used the equipment.  When they’re 60, and haven’t had three back surgeries, they’ll be glad they used the equipment!”  11-28-07
 
“I’ve been a nurse aide for six years and am trying to get into nursing school.  I’ve had a back strain three times in six years and still have low back pain sometimes.  It’s just something I’ve learned to live with.”  11-26-07
 
“I’m a nurse and have three bulging discs.  I take time to raise the bed.  I have to take care of my back.”  11-25-07
 

“I’ve been at this in nursing since I started as an orderly when I was 16 years old.  And because I’m a man, they always call me for lifting, and in psych, always for take-downs.  I’ve had some trouble with my back.”  11-24-07
 
“I went to move a man and just turned the wrong way and hurt my back.  I was off a while and had physical therapy.  When I went to go back, they said we don’t have light duty but they did find some filing for me to do.  I think workers’ comp made them give me light duty.  Then I went back to my regular job.” 11-24-07
 
“I’m a nurse aide.  My back is my job.  I have a lot of years left that I have to work.”  11-22-07
 
“We had a woman 300 pounds and the family said ‘no-o-o way’ to the lift.  They wanted us to just pick her up.”  11-21-07
 
“I’ve been a nurse 31 years and I’ve seen a lot of nurses with back injuries.”  11-20-07
 
“I have a sister and a friend who are nurses.  They say how awful the lifting is.”  11-19-07
 
“My bedside nursing career was lost due to injury.  I love what I do now, but I still resent that my ability to practice nursing was based on how much I could lift, and not on my nursing knowledge and skill.”  11-8-07
 
“We have a Smooth-Mover, but try to get nurses to use it.  Like other things, there’s a big brouhaha at first, but then they slow down.”  11-2-07
 
“People are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.  We have bigger beds, bigger chairs, bigger commodes, and we really need them.  We’ve had toilets ripped right off the wall.”  11-2-07
 
"Bet they're really sorry they let you go."  10-31-07
 
“I want you to know you’ve changed my whole perspective and my life.  I’ve quit the work I was doing to protect my back.”  10-31-07
 
“Thank you for being such an advocate for nurses.”  10-31-07
 
“I tried to tell the others they’re hurting themselves with all that lifting but they don’t believe me.”  10-31-07
 
“They had all of us sign the care plan to use the lift, and they said we would use the lift to the family, but when the family was gone, my supervisor said you can just lift him.  The patient said, ‘Just lift me.  You’ll be all right, and I won’t sue you.’”  10-31-07
 
“If you have to make your living with your back, why go to college?”  10-31-07 
 
"I am an injured nurse.  My hospital has no ‘Light Duty for Nurses’!  So, now I'm working as a clerk at the hospital, at less than half my nurse salary.  I cannot lift and transfer patients, so I can't work as an orthopedic nurse anymore."  10-31-07
 
“You’re book is at our unit’s nursing station.  I’m going to take it home and read it.  I feel bad ‘stealing’ it, but there’s no time to read at work.”  10-30-07
 
“I am a nurse since 1983 but recently quit.  I just can't do the bedside care anymore.  My body is killing me with this back-breaking work.”  10-26-07
 
“I tell them all the time:  You only have one back.  When you injure it on the job, they don’t care – they can’t fix it or replace it for you.  You must take responsibility and take care of your back – not expect the hospital to.  If a patient needs to be moved and it takes two, wait for the two.  If they are going to fall, guide their fall but don’t try to catch them.  No one will thank you for hurting your back in your duties as a nurse on or off the job.”  10-23-07
 
“I protect my back like you wouldn’t believe.  If someone has to sit there and wait to be moved, they can just sit there and wait until someone else shows up.  As I get older I protect my back more and more.”  10-23-07
 
“After 10 years of heavy lifting, I had an emergency L4-L5 laminectomy and have residual minor damage.”  10-22-07
 
“Workers’ compensation is an insurance company, working for the hospital, out to make money by denying claims and refusing care.  Almost all claims are from honest working people, but workers’ comp denies almost everyone, making them go to court to prove they were injured at work.”  10-21-07
 
“I’m a physician and treat lots of injured workers, and their insurance doesn’t pay when it’s a work injury.  It’s under workers’ comp, but worker’s comp doesn’t pay either until the case is closed.  There can be $25,000 of treatment, but no one pays, sometimes, for years.”  10-21-07
 
“I’m on the new committee to prevent back injuries.  We have all this equipment now, but the nurses don’t use it.”  10-21-07
 
“My research for my class is about back injuries.  I see your name everywhere I search online and say, I know her.  This information is needed so much.”  10-21-07
 
“It’s hard to communicate with about half of the nurses.  They don’t speak English very well.  We don’t have enough nurses, but hospitals keep tearing them up, getting rid of them, and robbing other countries of theirs.”  10-13-07
 
“I go back and look at your book every now and then, and read something again.  You miss some things the first time you read it.”  10-7-07

“I’m an EMT with Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue and have already hurt my back from all kinds of lifting.” 10-3-07

“My friend who’s 24 has worked in a hospital since she was 16. She just had her second spine surgery and will never work there again.” 10-3-07

“My hospital has equipment but it’s never around, so we don’t use it.” 10-3-07

“If there’s no equipment, how do you protect yourself?” 10-3-07

“If they are telling you to do something you know is hurting you, how do you refuse – can they fire you?” 10-3-07

“After my back injury, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t do anything. I was suicidal it was so bad.” 10-2-07

“Spine injury takes away all your fun.” 10-2-07

“That was a nice article about you. I said 'I know her.' My daughter got nurse aide training and cares for people at home.” 10-2-07 

“Nursing and medical schools need to teach zero lift and not send educated nurses out to be torn up by hospitals and nursing homes.  It’s a painful, sad betrayal.”  9-28-07
 
“Nurses are injured, disabled, and discounted.  They can no longer make the same wage.  When you can’t sell something, you put it on the shelf with a lower price, you discount it.  Injured nurses are discounted.”  9-28-07
 
“You need to talk to them at AARP.  They have a strong voice and don’t know what’s going on.  They don’t know the whole story on how patients are handled in nursing homes.”  Maggy, 88 yrs, 9-22-07
 
“I didn’t know nurses did lifting like that.  I don’t want to get hurt.  I wanted to become a nurse, but now I don’t know.  I have two children.  I can’t become a nurse just to get hurt.”   9-15-07
 
“More lifting goes on in nursing homes than any place else.”  9-15-07
 
“There was a man 250 pounds with the care plan saying he needed the Hoyer lift, but the aides were lifting anyway.  I asked do you know what you’re doing, you could get hurt?  They said we don’t care.  I said we need to get Anne Hudson in here to talk to us.”  9-15-07
 
“Each care giver signs the patient’s care plan, so they know if it says a lift is needed.  If you lift against the patient’s care plan, you’re not entitled to social security, you’re not entitled to workers’ comp, you’re not entitled to medical benefits, if you lift against the patient’s care plan that you signed.”  9-15-07
 
“If the nurse aides get hurt, my court reporter friend says they ask in court, ‘Can you read?’  If they say yes, they show the care plan where it says the resident needed a lift and say ‘You signed the care plan, so you’re not entitled to anything.”  9-15-07
 
“I worked in a care home where some of the residents want you to do lifting certain ways, bend over to lift, that are not good for your lower back.  If you say that hurts my back, they’ll fire you.  They just want you to do it their way.”  9-15-07
 
“Something in the article you said jumped out and hit me right between the eyes.  It was, ‘Why do we go to college and take all the courses when our job depends on our back?’  That is not right, to require that education, to lose all that knowledge when someone has a back injury is just wrong.  There’s no other way to say it.  It’s archaic, it’s barbaric, and it’s asinine, especially when something can be done about it.  The answer is that it’s all about the money, with the decisions on getting lift equipment made by someone whose mother or father or child is not in the position of losing their career to a back injury.”  9-11-07
 
“I always had you pegged as a go-getter but had no idea you had taken on the industry and the world until I read that article.  It is just totally awesome what you are doing.  Just wish you’d been there before I hurt my back!”  9-8-07
 
“Just think.  Would you have ever done what you’re doing if you’d never been hurt?  You’re making it better for people in lots of places, not only where you worked, but all over the country.  But the horrible part is that your back’s still messed up.”  9-7-07
 
“A nurse I know got a back injury and they just tossed her out.  She’s gone through all her money.  Now she’s applied for disability, food stamps, and welfare medical.”  9-5-07
 
“You are the voice and example of a career derailed.  I'm bringing the newspaper article about you to ortho tomorrow, to post in the nurses station.  Bravo!”  9-1-07
 
“We have all this beautiful equipment but there’s no compliance.”  8-28-07
 
“You are contributing so much to the plight of the back injured nurse – good work.”  8-26-07
 
“Injured nurses are just booted out, with ‘So sorry’ – or not!”  8-25-07
 
“We already have floor lifts for patients and are remodeling to put ceiling lifts in every room, with tracking to go to the chair and into the bathroom.”  8-22-07
 
“I look at a nurse who’s 100 pounds wringing wet and say no way, with patients four, five, and six hundred pounds.  Patients that size used to be an anomaly but now it’s every day.”  8-22-07
 
“We have a lift but the problem is that rooms are too small to get it in here.”  8-12-07 

They have this equipment in the nursing home but when it’s time to lift my mother, a couple of them just do it themselves.”  8-11-07
 
“I’m a physical therapist with a back problem.  All of my discs are okay, except L4/L5.  It’s dehydrated and shrunk down about half way.”  8-10-07
 
“One of the nurses at our rehab center just called in today with a back injury.  She’s going to the doctor.”  8-7-07
 
“Two of our surgical ICU nurses blew out their discs.  All of that expertise and they can’t work SICU anymore.”  8-3-07
 
“I’m an EMT and have had two back surgeries.”  7-31-07
 
“I’m a fireman with the Metro Fire Department.  We have stretchers that raise with a button but the ambulance service I also work for has the kind we have to raise ourselves.”  7-31-07
 
“I’m a nurse tech and had back surgery on L4/5 and L5/S1.”  7-31-07
 
“We have all this beautiful equipment sitting around but people don’t use it.  We’re short-staffed.  It takes too much time.”  7-31-07
 
“I’m a doctor.  One of our ICU nurses just had back surgery and within 36 hours had re-herniated.  When she couldn’t void, her doc was saying he thought it was her meds.  I asked, ‘From what I know about cauda equina, can you tell me why it isn’t cauda equina?’  And she was right back in surgery.”  7-30-07
 
“A girl lifted me by herself to the wheelchair and she nearly fell.  She almost fell and practically threw me into the wheelchair.  If you asked her, she would say it was all right, that everything was fine.”  7-25-07
 
“My mom’s a nurse and had a heavy-set person.  My mom kind of broke their fall and it wasn’t a good thing.  She wasn’t injured too, too bad as she’s still doing what she’s doing, nursing in the hospital.”  7-25-07
 
“I’ve been tested for sciatic nerve pain.  They say it’s negative.  There’s always pain.  I have pain shooting down my back and down my leg.  Sometimes it flares up when I might bend over too fast.  Sometimes I can’t stand up straight.  I’m handicapped two or three days at a time.  I have a 12-year-old son.  I went into nursing to take care of him.  I can’t be disabled at 30.”  7-18-07 
 
“It never hurt back then, when I was first in nursing.  I was like almighty.  I’m very cautious now.”  7-18-07
 
“It’s the wear and tear over the years that gets you.  I tell those young nurses to lift the bed, don’t be bending over like that.”  7-16-07
 
“Workers’ comp denies claims, hoping the hurt nurses will give up and go away.”  7-16-07
 
“When you’re injured, it’s almost better to go through your own insurance.  One nurse was down on the floor, unable to move, before workers’ comp allowed the surgery she needed.  She still can’t feel her feet.”  7-16-07 
 
“If you’re in nursing 10 or 15 years, you’ll be hurt.  It’s a hazard of the trade.”  7-12-07
 
“I can’t believe they’re still lifting the old-fashioned way.”  7-11-07
 
“They should have a battery thing to lift from the floor to the gurney.  Two big men lifted me on a blanket.”  7-11-07
 
“My nurse friend got away from all that moving and carrying before it did her in.  She went back to school and into another area of nursing.”  7-10-07
 
“My daughter worked as a nurse in the ER for 15 years but has changed to working with a cardiologist in the office.  She hurt her back and other things working in the ER.”  7-6-07
 
“It just burns me up that men in factories don’t lift a finger.  They use forklifts.  But women with patients lift hundreds of pounds.  And when they’re damaged by lifting, they’re fired.  Men used to have to lift in factories, but when they found out it was damaging, they instituted machinery.”  6-27-07
 
“I’m an injured nurse with a dead person’s bone in my neck and don’t want to see this happen to anyone else.”  6-22-07
 
“I see the value in preventing on-the-job injuries.”  6-22-07
 
“This movement is long overdue.  We’ve lost a lot of nurses over a lot of years.”  6-22-07
 
“If you have a man in nursing, you just use him up until he can’t lift anymore.”  6-22-07
 
“I tell nurses, if you want to be macho, go right ahead and lift.  But if you get injured, you might not get any compensation, so you just go right ahead.”  6-22-07
 
“At first I wasn’t too sure I had any use for the equipment.  Then I saw how many nurses were saved from being injured.  I’m a believer now.”  6-22-07
 
“Our lift team has been a wonderful asset to our unit, and we don’t share!”  6-22-07
 
“With the equipment and our new policy, I can walk out at the end of the day instead of crawling out, even if my tongue’s hanging out to the side.”  6-22-07
 
“We need to educate our families.  They say it’s your job to lift up grandma.”  6-22-07
 
“I tell nurses, we have the lift, use it.  It’s your friend.”  6-22-07
 
“If we’re rushing to get our work done, think of the time to recover if you get injured.”  6-22-07
 
“JCAHO saw three nurses lifting a patient while the lift sat in the hall.  JCAHO sited the hospital, not for manual lifting, but for not following their own ‘No Lift’ policy.”  6-22-07

“You’re doing a wonderful thing with all those backs you’re saving.”  6-15-07
 
“I huffed and puffed, but the wheelchair with the 300-pound man didn’t budge.  Finally, I got it rolling.”  5-30-07
 
"My neck is wrecked after 30 years.  In the past year, THREE other staff members in my department (all over 40 years old) had neck or back surgeries."  5-25-07
 
“I feel like somebody has stripped the skin off the back of my leg, all the way down to the back of my heel and it’s numb.  I feel like I'm walking on bone.”  5-15-07

“My daughter is a CNA at a care center.  Every night she comes home with back pain.  She says they’ve fired all the ones who file for workers’ comp.”  5-9-07
 
“Nurses have more back injuries than coal miners.  I’m a doctor who’s worked in coal mining country and can tell you that nurses have more back injuries.  Miners have more head injuries.”  5-9-07
 
“I sure am watching out for my back now.  I’m not taking any more chances.  I wonder why we don’t have those things to move patient beds like they move carts around with at the store.”  5-5-07
 
“Lifts are such a huge need.  If caregivers become unable to lift and care for them at home, it becomes a crime for insurance not to cover the lifts.  As a PT, lifting these kids day in and day out wears on your body.  Paying up front for the equipment always pays off better than at the hind end.”  5-4-07
 
“It needs to be told, and taught, and reiterated again and again and again until they get it.  Then, start all over with the new ones.”  5-1-07
 
“I’m an EMT.  My worst lift was a woman about 350 pounds.  She broke her ankle and was on the floor, wedged between the bed and the dresser.  She couldn’t help at all.  I had to just pull her up and out.”  4-25-07
 
“When an EMT can’t lift, there’s just no more use for them.”  4-25-07
 
“My first injury was when I was a student 19 years old lifting a patient.”  4-19-07
 
“There are lifts now in the nursing school where I teach.  The students say we’re not going to lift and we’re not going to get injured.”  4-19-07
 
“Well, they hurt the wrong nurse.”  4-16-07
 
“The standard reply about nurse injury is ‘We budgeted for it.’  We’ve become insensitive to people’s lives and bodies and careers over money.”  4-16-07 
 
“If they knew they would have to take responsibility, and had to find other positions for injured nurses, they would take better care of them and not let them get hurt.”  4-16-07
 
“I got a call from a nurse who was being denied workers’ comp for a back injury based on degenerative changes seen on her x-rays.  It was amazing that this was just discussed at the conference and I get a call.  How horrible for her, as you are aware.”  4-12-07
 
“Aren’t all nurses walking around like that, with a hurt back?!”  4-7-07
 
"I witnessed first hand with my grandfather how difficult and dangerous the task 'care giving' becomes, especially for nurses and spouses."  4-4-07
 
"Thank you for your fight to protect the very people who have dedicated their careers to helping other people."  4-4-07 
 
“Nurses who get back injured are throw-aways.  They’re given no more consideration.  It’s over for them.”  4-2-07 
 
“In various orientations, I've heard physical therapists say that nurses' injuries were their own fault for lifting ‘improperly.’ ”  3-31-07
 
“Worker bee nurses don’t get it until they get hurt and get worked over by the system.”  3-29-07
 
“They don’t advertise nurses as part body builders.”  3-27-07
 
“I have done one of my safe patient handling equipment focus groups.  The nurses brought up several times how frequently they watch out for their patients’ safety while ignoring their own.”  3-24-07
 
“There’s no more crippling career than being a nurse in a hospital.  It’ll ruin you.”  3-22-07
 
“When I was in nurse aide training, my back really hurt.  I thought I’m not going to be able to do this.  Some of the people are really heavy.  I had worked only four days as a CNA when I quit.  I knew I couldn’t stay in that work.  I had wanted to be a nurse.”  3-22-07
 
“Back injury is the biggest disability faced by nurses.  They warned us first thing in nursing school that back injury is the biggest risk, right before teaching us to lift.”  3-20-07
 
“Powerful, powerful presentation in Orlando.  I was so proud to know you.  Your story continues to make me weep and work harder.”  3-19-07
 
“It’s cheaper to do the maintenance with injury prevention than to do repairs on ‘broken’ nurses.”  3-17-07
 
“I read your book three or four months ago.  It changed the direction I was headed.”  3-15-07
 
“They don’t do right when nurse aides hurt their back.  They say they’ll help but don’t come up with a job you can do.”  3-15-07
 
“Yeah, team!  What do you do with moving 300 and 400 pound people?  You have to get injured somewhere along the line.”  3-9-07
 
“When the CNA wanted the two of us to pull the 300 pound patient up in bed, I said I’m not doing it.  I care about my back and I thought we needed more help.  But she said I’ll do it myself, and she did.”  3-8-07
 
“I love you for all the good that you do for nurses.  May God bless you.”  3-6-07
 
“Now I’m providing in-home care for a man about 200 pounds who doesn’t get up at all.  He helps turn but I still have to pull him over and pull him up.  When I wake up in the morning, my back just kills me.  The doctor says there’s nothing wrong with me, that it’s just my weight.  I’ve had times when my legs go totally numb and like electricity shooting up my leg.  They took an x-ray, but I’ve never had an MRI.”  3-6-07
 
“We call the lift on our unit the ‘Anne Hudson Memorial Lift.’  If a patient is down, and nurses start to lift, I say, wait, let’s get the Anne Hudson Memorial Lift.”  3-2-07
 
“Back injury, but still limping along.  Able to do Case Management but some days are getting to be really, really hard.”  2-27-07


“I’m starting care giving again.  I love taking care of old people, but now my back is hurting again.”  2-22-07
 
“We have gait belts.  And they teach you to stand behind people, to be ready to catch them, and let them slide down your body, if they fall.”  2-22-07
 
“I quit CNA work at the care center because of lifting.  There were two-person lifts that they wanted me to do alone.  They expected me to lift people twice my size by myself.  I said I’m not doing it.”  2-22-07
 
“You are the vanguard for healthcare workers’ safety.”  2-15-07
 
“A young 20-year-old nurse aid had surgery for two discs that ruptured from lifting a patient.  She was planning to go into nursing but not anymore, not after being injured so bad.  She said I’m too young for this.”  2-14-07
 
“It’s business.  Nurses when they get injured are put out like any other worker.  Hospitals are businesses.  It’s all about the money.”  2-14-07
 
“What you trained to do, what you moved heaven and earth to be allowed to do, is gone.  You fought to get that.  You fought to keep your job, but it’s gone.  Getting disabled by lifting leaves you out of nursing and in pain.  It has to crush you.”  2-3-07     
 
“I can’t put my mother-in-law to bed anymore.  My back hurts and I can’t do that.  I can’t roll her over to change her diaper.  The aides struggle, leaning across the hospital bed.  It has to hurt their back.  Underpaid, overworked, how can they keep on being so nice?”  2-3-07
 
“Every time there’s a new nurse, I whip out your book and say, to let you know we’re serious about back injuries.  Same with the new unit manager.  I whipped out your book and said, to be sure we’re on the same page about back injuries.”  1-28-07
 
“Nurses are getting older and they’re more vulnerable.  You’d think they would keep us for our experience, but they don’t.  They want to get rid of us because we cost them more money.  All the nurses are new on my old unit.  New nurses are teaching the younger ones.  It’s scary.”  1-27-07
 
“In our department, we have nothing, no equipment to move them.  We just drag them over.”  1-27-07
 
“I hurt my brachial plexus nerve pulling about a 300 or 400 pound woman to sit up in bed.  The workers’ comp doctor put down that it was my shoulder.  Then, they tested my shoulder and said full range of motion.  I got nothing for it but still can’t use my hand and arm like before.”  1-26-07
 
“I can tell you that what you’re doing is making a difference in patient care.  It’s really helping.  Keep up the good work.”  1-26-07
 
“In the OR, we use an air matt for moving really obese patients, but with other regular patients we still move them ourselves.”  1-25-07
 
“It is my opinion that injured nurses can benefit corporations dramatically with their knowledge.  But the problem is, these corporations can hire someone else for a lot less money.  It is all about money and not the people or the patients.”  1-24-07
 
“I have an under 20 pound lift limit and other restrictions.  My job said I can't come back unless I can do 100%.  I know I will always have back pain.  I’m doing exercises and stretches daily to be as flexible as I can.  I also have severe sciatic nerve damage.”  1-19-07 
 
“I think that the hospitals need to address RN's already injured with chronic back problems.  At my local hospital, a couple years ago, they decided there was absolutely NO LIGHT DUTY at all for RN's.  So, it’s either do your job or leave....”  1-18-07
 
“I really thank you for saving our backs.  This was a long time in coming.  You've done terrific, and stated all the facts very eloquently and surprisingly so true and scary when you see it on paper!!!!!”  1-18-07
 
“Safer moving and handling is possible with the right attitude and well-maintained equipment.  I am sure there are many nurses like myself who would still be working in a job that we loved had we avoided back injury while at work.”  1-17-07
 
“Thank you for all the information on moving and handling.  I know this will all help with my in-service and plan to drive the message home regarding safe moving and handling.”  1-14-07
 
“You just don’t get it, until it happens to you.”  1-13-07
 
“Your book helped me a lot.  It was a real eye-opener!”  1-3-07
 
“Not reporting injuries enables employers to keep hurting people.”  1-3-07
 
“I’m a nurse with a hurt back from work.  I didn’t claim my injury because I wanted to keep my job.  My co-workers are great people and help me when they see that I’m hurting.”  1-3-07
 
“I think that last move was just the ‘final straw’ from years of cumulative lifting.  I limp from pain down my leg.”  1-3-07
 
“My mother is a nurse.  Her skull was messed up.  Her back and skull were all messed up by somebody hopped up on crack in the ER.”  1-2-07
 
“I know many back-injured nurses, especially ones who have worked the hospital setting, who just accept back injury as being part of a nurse's job!!  One nurse had about four or five back surgeries, and just plugs along doing her job!!!  I believe my neck/back will just continue deteriorating until I will eventually be forced out of nursing all together and be forced to deal with the government and their BS!!!”  12-30-06
  
“With my neck and back injuries sustained working as a nurse, I pray to remain working as long as possible; I try to believe that what I do good for people will come around and take care of me eventually.”  12-30-06
 
“Individuals in poor finances or in poor health are not given much consideration.  In disasters, large numbers of victims are visible and get help, but injured nurses are scattered.  If they were together where they could all be seen, they’d get more attention and might get some help.”  12-23-06
 
“I saw your letter in American Nurse.  I never knew your whole story.  It’s surprising that nurses don’t talk about these things.  There’s so much secrecy around injuries, things we should be talking about.”  12-23-06  
 
“Just thought you might like to know that your stories are being noticed by other injured workers in the world.  http://wcbcanada.com/modules/WCB-BB/viewtopic.php?t=3424”  12-19-06
 
“Someone needs to study the economic impact of injury to the community.  I don’t buy new cars or land anymore.  Think what happens to the restaurants.  I don’t eat out anymore.  I just don’t buy things.  It’s an economic disaster when someone with a good wage, like an RN, can’t work anymore.”  12-18-06
 
“One nurse wrecked her back and took a big pay cut to go work for a nursing home.”  12-18-06 
 
“A nurse I knew hurt her back and committed suicide.  She became extremely depressed in her situation and committed suicide.  She had pain medication and that can make you depressed.  Until I was injured and lost my job, I couldn’t understand.  Now I can definitely see how it could happen.  It can be because of chronic pain and from chronic grief for what she lost. ”  12-18-07
 
“My nurse friend has had three spinal fusions and never filed for workers’ comp.  She said she got care from her regular insurance instead of going through the ‘pain clinic concentration camp’ and everything else workers’ comp puts you through.”  12-18-06
 
“Truck drivers do a lot of things besides just driving.  They load and unload, raise hoods, tailgates, do chains, and lots of things.  The doctor said my back injuries from nursing were worse than any truck driver’s back he’s ever seen.”  12-18-06
 
“Thank you for all your work on behalf of injured nurses.”  12-16-06
 
“After 35 years of nursing, I have chronic low back pain and stiffness with multiple bulging discs per MRI.  My cervical spine also has several bulging discs and severe degenerative changes.  I’ve been off caring for a family member and dread the risk of more injury when I return to work.”  12-16-06
 
“No hospitals in my area have lift teams or widespread use of assistive devices.”  12-16-06
 
“The notion that hospitals are humanitarian is false…it’s an industry.  They’re in it for the bucks, the big bucks.”  12-4-06
 
“All nurses will have a back injury if they work the floor long enough.  Every nurse I know has a back problem.”  11-24-06
 
“I’m a nurse with two herniated discs.  I don’t know if lifting patients did it, but it sure didn’t help.  Now I can’t ride my horses or lift anything at all.”  11-24-06
 
“I think it’s horrible the way injured healthcare professionals are treated.  They’re all just kicked out the door.”  11-24-06
 
“A lot is being written today about the devastation to nurses’ lives caused by injuries from lifting.”  11-22-06
 
“After I injured my back they said be careful.  But how can you be careful with your back when you have to lift people?  It’s part of your job.  You have to do it.”  11-17-06
 
“The doctor didn’t do an x-ray, MRI, or any test.  He said if everybody got an MRI, they’d all have a ruptured disk.  But it was my back, my leg going numb, and my bowels not in control.  I went to another doctor, and got out of nursing.”  11-17-06 
 
“It never made sense, with the number of nurses in health care, why we are not a powerful group.  We should be pulling elections.  We should have power.  We’re so busy getting injured that we don’t have a backbone.  It is shocking.  You feel so discarded.”  11-1-06
 
“I was scheduled for spine surgery but workers’ comp said they wanted another IME.  So I went to that and now I have to appeal their denial again.  My doctors want me to have a discogram but workers' comp is refusing to review the request.”  10-26-06
 
“This back injury has limited everything in my life.  I have my mom come over and help me.  She cleans my toilet and everything I can’t do anymore.”  10-26-06
 
“They say they can’t afford equipment to help us lift but the boss comes riding in on a Harley.  CNA's start at $8.00 an hour.  I say, how much do you make?”  10-26-06
 
“It's the hardest thing I've ever been through.  There is a lot of stigma that comes with an injured worker.  My back hurts everyday, bad.  There are some days I don't want to get out of bed, but I do it anyway.”  10-26-06 
 
“Lift equipment only makes sense.  It’s so much safer for the nurses, and for the patients.”  10-21-06
 
“One of the nurses with a neck injury came back after a year, into doing paperwork.  When she couldn’t return to her position with the lifting, they let her go.”  10-20-06
 
“You and I were too early to benefit from the efforts that will save so many from ruined careers.  Yours is a proud legacy, one that will hopefully prevent any nurse or aide from ever going under the knife because of lifting a patient.”  9-30-06  
 
"I still have my days when I feel sad that I cannot function as I used to.  Even shopping takes it right out of me - or should I say, out of my back!  I estimate that I function at about 25% of what I used to be able to do.  It is a really pitiful legacy of having CARED for others, literally giving my body for their well-being."  9-30-06”  
 
"I feel that more nurses should be educated in the ‘no manual lifting.’  Believe it or not, I was not aware of it until my injury.  I never knew how many great mechanical lifting devices existed. There really needs to be more awareness and more nurses involved.  There is progress in numbers."  9-30-06 
 
"I'm appalled at the amount of nurses that are injured related to lifting injuries.  You would think that caring physicians and hospitals would be more diligent."  9-30-06
 
“In my work I’ve known a lot of injured nurses and they just get the boot.  They’re kicked to the curb.”  9-28-06
 
“A lot of my friends are nurses and they all have bad backs.  My friend has to take Percocet to play tennis.”  9-28-06
 
“The hospital administrator said, ‘We’re too busy helping people to be safe.’ ”  9-28-06
 
“A 19-year-old CNA blew out two discs lifting a 250 pound resident.  I said you’ve got to quit injuring these young people.”  9-28-06
 
“Look what they’ve done in factories where people don’t lift anything.  They have machines and move things with their finger.  They don’t use muscles to move things, they use their finger to punch a button.”  9-17-06
 
“The societal cost and the impact on people’s lives from the injuries are tremendous.”  9-7-06
 
“Twenty years ago, my friend worked in a care home.  When an 80-year-old lady was about to fall, she caught her and had a real bad back injury.  The care home wouldn’t cover her injury.  They said, ‘We have a protocol to let them fall.  You should have let her fall.’  My friend has been on disability all these years from that injury.”  8-19-06
 
“A woman has fallen three times.  The staff pick her up off the floor.  They don’t have equipment, so they just lift.”  8-19-06
 
“It can be a downward spiral for nurses after getting injured, losing their work, and often becoming depressed.  Nurses can lose what has been their life, from lifting which they should not be doing.”  8-18-06
 
“I was in a meeting with the newly formed state steering committee for safe lift.  I told the committee that the reason I got interested in this was because I had a friend from Coos Bay named Annie Hudson who kept talking about this years ago.  At the time I thought you were crazy thinking the hospitals would do this, but it's happening!!!”  8-17-06
 
“I’m doing in-home care giving for a quadriplegic person.  They have a lift in the ceiling.  I don’t lift so it’s easy.”  8-17-06
 
“I saw a program on TV showing ceiling lifts in a hospital where they have lifts in 75% of the patient rooms.  I sat there with my aching back thinking it is so simple.  Why didn’t they do this years ago?  I could still be working.”  8-6-06
 
“I’m doing care giving again after my back injury but these people have a lift at home so I don’t lift.”  8-4-06
 
“When I worked in assisted living, they didn’t have lift equipment.  There were so many good people injured.  This has been needed for such a long time.”  8-3-06  
 
“When you’re injured, they say ‘We don’t have light duty’ and that’s the end of it.”  7-22-06
“I’m starting care giving again.  I love taking care of old people, but now my back is hurting again.”  2-22-07
 
“We have gait belts.  And they teach you to stand behind people, to be ready to catch them, and let them slide down your body, if they fall.”  2-22-07
 
“I quit CNA work at the care center because of lifting.  There were two-person lifts that they wanted me to do alone.  They expected me to lift people twice my size by myself.  I said I’m not doing it.”  2-22-07
 
“You are the vanguard for healthcare workers’ safety.”  2-15-07
 
“A young 20-year-old nurse aid had surgery for two discs that ruptured from lifting a patient.  She was planning to go into nursing but not anymore, not after being injured so bad.  She said I’m too young for this.”  2-14-07
 
“It’s business.  Nurses when they get injured are put out like any other worker.  Hospitals are businesses.  It’s all about the money.”  2-14-07
 
“What you trained to do, what you moved heaven and earth to be allowed to do, is gone.  You fought to get that.  You fought to keep your job, but it’s gone.  Getting disabled by lifting leaves you out of nursing and in pain.  It has to crush you.”  2-3-07     
 
“I can’t put my mother-in-law to bed anymore.  My back hurts and I can’t do that.  I can’t roll her over to change her diaper.  The aides struggle, leaning across the hospital bed.  It has to hurt their back.  Underpaid, overworked, how can they keep on being so nice?”  2-3-07
 
“Every time there’s a new nurse, I whip out your book and say, to let you know we’re serious about back injuries.  Same with the new unit manager.  I whipped out your book and said, to be sure we’re on the same page about back injuries.”  1-28-07
 
“Nurses are getting older and they’re more vulnerable.  You’d think they would keep us for our experience, but they don’t.  They want to get rid of us because we cost them more money.  All the nurses are new on my old unit.  New nurses are teaching the younger ones.  It’s scary.”  1-27-07
 
“In our department, we have nothing, no equipment to move them.  We just drag them over.”  1-27-07
 
“I hurt my brachial plexus nerve pulling about a 300 or 400 pound woman to sit up in bed.  The workers’ comp doctor put down that it was my shoulder.  Then, they tested my shoulder and said full range of motion.  I got nothing for it but still can’t use my hand and arm like before.”  1-26-07
 
“I can tell you that what you’re doing is making a difference in patient care.  It’s really helping.  Keep up the good work.”  1-26-07
 
“In the OR, we use an air matt for moving really obese patients, but with other regular patients we still move them ourselves.”  1-25-07
 
“It is my opinion that injured nurses can benefit corporations dramatically with their knowledge.  But the problem is, these corporations can hire someone else for a lot less money.  It is all about money and not the people or the patients.”  1-24-07
 
“I have an under 20 pound lift limit and other restrictions.  My job said I can't come back unless I can do 100%.  I know I will always have back pain.  I’m doing exercises and stretches daily to be as flexible as I can.  I also have severe sciatic nerve damage.”  1-19-07 
 
“I think that the hospitals need to address RN's already injured with chronic back problems.  At my local hospital, a couple years ago, they decided there was absolutely NO LIGHT DUTY at all for RN's.  So, it’s either do your job or leave....”  1-18-07
 
“I really thank you for saving our backs.  This was a long time in coming.  You've done terrific, and stated all the facts very eloquently and surprisingly so true and scary when you see it on paper!!!!!”  1-18-07
 
“Safer moving and handling is possible with the right attitude and well-maintained equipment.  I am sure there are many nurses like myself who would still be working in a job that we loved had we avoided back injury while at work.”  1-17-07
 
“Thank you for all the information on moving and handling.  I know this will all help with my in-service and plan to drive the message home regarding safe moving and handling.”  1-14-07
 
“You just don’t get it, until it happens to you.”  1-13-07
 
“Your book helped me a lot.  It was a real eye-opener!”  1-3-07
 
“Not reporting injuries enables employers to keep hurting people.”  1-3-07
 
“I’m a nurse with a hurt back from work.  I didn’t claim my injury because I wanted to keep my job.  My co-workers are great people and help me when they see that I’m hurting.”  1-3-07
 
“I think that last move was just the ‘final straw’ from years of cumulative lifting.  I limp from pain down my leg.”  1-3-07
 
“My mother is a nurse.  Her skull was messed up.  Her back and skull were all messed up by somebody hopped up on crack in the ER.”  1-2-07
 
“I know many back-injured nurses, especially ones who have worked the hospital setting, who just accept back injury as being part of a nurse's job!!  One nurse had about four or five back surgeries, and just plugs along doing her job!!!  I believe my neck/back will just continue deteriorating until I will eventually be forced out of nursing all together and be forced to deal with the government and their BS!!!”  12-30-06
  
“With my neck and back injuries sustained working as a nurse, I pray to remain working as long as possible; I try to believe that what I do good for people will come around and take care of me eventually.”  12-30-06
 
“Individuals in poor finances or in poor health are not given much consideration.  In disasters, large numbers of victims are visible and get help, but injured nurses are scattered.  If they were together where they could all be seen, they’d get more attention and might get some help.”  12-23-06
 
“I saw your letter in American Nurse.  I never knew your whole story.  It’s surprising that nurses don’t talk about these things.  There’s so much secrecy around injuries, things we should be talking about.”  12-23-06  
 
“Just thought you might like to know that your stories are being noticed by other injured workers in the world.  http://wcbcanada.com/modules/WCB-BB/viewtopic.php?t=3424”  12-19-06
 
“Someone needs to study the economic impact of injury to the community.  I don’t buy new cars or land anymore.  Think what happens to the restaurants.  I don’t eat out anymore.  I just don’t buy things.  It’s an economic disaster when someone with a good wage, like an RN, can’t work anymore.”  12-18-06
 
“One nurse wrecked her back and took a big pay cut to go work for a nursing home.”  12-18-06 
 
“A nurse I knew hurt her back and committed suicide.  She became extremely depressed in her situation and committed suicide.  She had pain medication and that can make you depressed.  Until I was injured and lost my job, I couldn’t understand.  Now I can definitely see how it could happen.  It can be because of chronic pain and from chronic grief for what she lost. ”  12-18-07
 
“My nurse friend has had three spinal fusions and never filed for workers’ comp.  She said she got care from her regular insurance instead of going through the ‘pain clinic concentration camp’ and everything else workers’ comp puts you through.”  12-18-06
 
“Truck drivers do a lot of things besides just driving.  They load and unload, raise hoods, tailgates, do chains, and lots of things.  The doctor said my back injuries from nursing were worse than any truck driver’s back he’s ever seen.”  12-18-06
 
“Thank you for all your work on behalf of injured nurses.”  12-16-06
 
“After 35 years of nursing, I have chronic low back pain and stiffness with multiple bulging discs per MRI.  My cervical spine also has several bulging discs and severe degenerative changes.  I’ve been off caring for a family member and dread the risk of more injury when I return to work.”  12-16-06
 
“No hospitals in my area have lift teams or widespread use of assistive devices.”  12-16-06
 
“The notion that hospitals are humanitarian is false…it’s an industry.  They’re in it for the bucks, the big bucks.”  12-4-06
 
“All nurses will have a back injury if they work the floor long enough.  Every nurse I know has a back problem.”  11-24-06
 
“I’m a nurse with two herniated discs.  I don’t know if lifting patients did it, but it sure didn’t help.  Now I can’t ride my horses or lift anything at all.”  11-24-06
 
“I think it’s horrible the way injured healthcare professionals are treated.  They’re all just kicked out the door.”  11-24-06
 
“A lot is being written today about the devastation to nurses’ lives caused by injuries from lifting.”  11-22-06
 
“After I injured my back they said be careful.  But how can you be careful with your back when you have to lift people?  It’s part of your job.  You have to do it.”  11-17-06
 
“The doctor didn’t do an x-ray, MRI, or any test.  He said if everybody got an MRI, they’d all have a ruptured disk.  But it was my back, my leg going numb, and my bowels not in control.  I went to another doctor, and got out of nursing.”  11-17-06 
 
“It never made sense, with the number of nurses in health care, why we are not a powerful group.  We should be pulling elections.  We should have power.  We’re so busy getting injured that we don’t have a backbone.  It is shocking.  You feel so discarded.”  11-1-06
 
“I was scheduled for spine surgery but workers’ comp said they wanted another IME.  So I went to that and now I have to appeal their denial again.  My doctors want me to have a discogram but workers' comp is refusing to review the request.”  10-26-06
 
“This back injury has limited everything in my life.  I have my mom come over and help me.  She cleans my toilet and everything I can’t do anymore.”  10-26-06
 
“They say they can’t afford equipment to help us lift but the boss comes riding in on a Harley.  CNA's start at $8.00 an hour.  I say, how much do you make?”  10-26-06
 
“It's the hardest thing I've ever been through.  There is a lot of stigma that comes with an injured worker.  My back hurts everyday, bad.  There are some days I don't want to get out of bed, but I do it anyway.”  10-26-06 
 
“Lift equipment only makes sense.  It’s so much safer for the nurses, and for the patients.”  10-21-06
 
“One of the nurses with a neck injury came back after a year, into doing paperwork.  When she couldn’t return to her position with the lifting, they let her go.”  10-20-06
 
“You and I were too early to benefit from the efforts that will save so many from ruined careers.  Yours is a proud legacy, one that will hopefully prevent any nurse or aide from ever going under the knife because of lifting a patient.”  9-30-06  
 
"I still have my days when I feel sad that I cannot function as I used to.  Even shopping takes it right out of me - or should I say, out of my back!  I estimate that I function at about 25% of what I used to be able to do.  It is a really pitiful legacy of having CARED for others, literally giving my body for their well-being."  9-30-06”  
 
"I feel that more nurses should be educated in the ‘no manual lifting.’  Believe it or not, I was not aware of it until my injury.  I never knew how many great mechanical lifting devices existed. There really needs to be more awareness and more nurses involved.  There is progress in numbers."  9-30-06 
 
"I'm appalled at the amount of nurses that are injured related to lifting injuries.  You would think that caring physicians and hospitals would be more diligent."  9-30-06
 
“In my work I’ve known a lot of injured nurses and they just get the boot.  They’re kicked to the curb.”  9-28-06
 
“A lot of my friends are nurses and they all have bad backs.  My friend has to take Percocet to play tennis.”  9-28-06
 
“The hospital administrator said, ‘We’re too busy helping people to be safe.’ ”  9-28-06
 
“A 19-year-old CNA blew out two discs lifting a 250 pound resident.  I said you’ve got to quit injuring these young people.”  9-28-06
 
“Look what they’ve done in factories where people don’t lift anything.  They have machines and move things with their finger.  They don’t use muscles to move things, they use their finger to punch a button.”  9-17-06
 
“The societal cost and the impact on people’s lives from the injuries are tremendous.”  9-7-06
 
“Twenty years ago, my friend worked in a care home.  When an 80-year-old lady was about to fall, she caught her and had a real bad back injury.  The care home wouldn’t cover her injury.  They said, ‘We have a protocol to let them fall.  You should have let her fall.’  My friend has been on disability all these years from that injury.”  8-19-06
 
“A woman has fallen three times.  The staff pick her up off the floor.  They don’t have equipment, so they just lift.”  8-19-06
 
“It can be a downward spiral for nurses after getting injured, losing their work, and often becoming depressed.  Nurses can lose what has been their life, from lifting which they should not be doing.”  8-18-06
 
“I was in a meeting with the newly formed state steering committee for safe lift.  I told the committee that the reason I got interested in this was because I had a friend from Coos Bay named Annie Hudson who kept talking about this years ago.  At the time I thought you were crazy thinking the hospitals would do this, but it's happening!!!”  8-17-06
 
“I’m doing in-home care giving for a quadriplegic person.  They have a lift in the ceiling.  I don’t lift so it’s easy.”  8-17-06
 
“I saw a program on TV showing ceiling lifts in a hospital where they have lifts in 75% of the patient rooms.  I sat there with my aching back thinking it is so simple.  Why didn’t they do this years ago?  I could still be working.”  8-6-06
 
“I’m doing care giving again after my back injury but these people have a lift at home so I don’t lift.”  8-4-06
 
“When I worked in assisted living, they didn’t have lift equipment.  There were so many good people injured.  This has been needed for such a long time.”  8-3-06  
 
“When you’re injured, they say ‘We don’t have light duty’ and that’s the end of it.”  7-22-06

 

“You and your camp ARE making a difference.  Not often, and not many people, can say they individually helped provide the impetus for national change.  Good job!”  6-25-06
 
"I was off work for three months on an unpaid medical leave due to a herniated L4/L5.  After the three months my chiropractor said I could go back to work with light duty.  I was not allowed light duty, and they would not extend my leave.  Their leave policy says I would not be guaranteed my position at the end of the leave.  I understood that part.  Supposedly they were helping to find another position which does not require lifting, i.e., case management for example.  I was not able to find a position, and I have checked all the current job listings.  I have been terminated.  My next step is to apply for unemployment, and try to find some other nursing work I can do."  6-11-06 
 
"It is definitely important to have legislation introduced regarding safe patient handling, no manual lift.  Before I took my last position I was offered a job at a medical center in a healthcare corporation which does provide lifting equipment on the units in their facilities.  However, I did have to lift 50 pounds during the physical exam.  I suffered for that for quite a while.  Those kinds of job description requirements should be eliminated.  Nursing Assistants have it much worse regarding lifting."  6-11-06 
 
“These injuries, which could be prevented, are ripping off the injured and costing a lot of workers' comp money.  Stopping the injuries would be a net benefit to the healthcare industry.  Beats all I've ever seen."   6-14-06
 
“My sister’s a nurse and had to have back surgery years ago.  She’s the head nurse now but still throws in with the rest of them when it gets busy.”  5-20-06
 
“A woman I know became a nurse and was disabled within two years.”  5-19-06
 
“One of the nurses is out with her third injury, this time her neck.  Her doctor told her one more injury and she’ll be out of nursing.”   5-11-06
 
“After two nerve blocks and still substantial pain…I have learned much through this process but lack support which of course is part of what I have learned.”  5-10-06
 
“I am striving to implement a Safe Lift Program at our hospital.  Nursing staff is somewhat resistant…but some have adopted it.   Thank you for sharing your story and for fighting for this basic right of health care workers.”  5-10-06
 
“Our hospital has one old Hoyer lift.  Can’t they afford some new equipment?”  5-9-06
 
“I tell patients, you have to help move yourself.  If I can’t get them up, I get someone else to help.  You have to take care of yourself.  It’s for sure no one else is going to.”  5-9-06
 
“There’s no help for a nurse who gets hurt.  When they’re done with you, they’re done, and you’re out.”  5-7-06
 
“The hospital is really trying.  They have a lot of new lift equipment.”  5-7-06
 
“I have been reading your book, very good information and facts.”  5-7-06
 
“It’s only smart that they’re passing legislation.  I don’t know why they didn’t do it years ago because it will prevent injuries and injuries are what cost money.”  4-28-06
 
“One moment’s indiscretion with lifting can mean a lifetime of regret.”  4-28-06
 
“Today, someone told me what a good nurse I had been to their mother when she was gravely ill.  I cried because I’m not there at the bedside anymore.  My back injury stole my hospital career.”  4-26-06
 
“There are so many injured nurses.  It’s so bad.  You see somebody limping or holding their back and you say, Are you a nurse?”  4-14-06
 
“1.8 tons of lifting per shift!  I can’t believe that all nurses don’t look like weight lifters!”  4-3-06
 
“I see that the ball’s rolling with legislation.  It must feel good to know that things are finally changing for the better!”  4-3-06
 
“It's the psyche of people, the way women are viewed, as more vulnerable.  When you go in with an attitude of assistance and help, with the situation that's happening, when your whole thought is focused on them, you're not thinking of yourself.  So how vulnerable can you get?”  4-3-06
 
“It is great to see that the physical lifting of patients is being addressed as an unacceptable risk to nurses and that the adoption of a No Lifting approach as the best system of addressing this risk is being embraced.”  4-3-06
 
“Injury from lifting patients is one of the worst societal disasters we face today, a situation of tremendous discrimination, and lots of hidden agendas.”  3-26-06
 
“I wish when it first happened, that I had got a lawyer and challenged my diagnosis of ‘lumbar sprain.’  Later, MRIs showed two herniations but the work comp records still say ‘lumbar sprain.’  My case might have gone better if I had a lawyer and the records said the correct diagnosis, but I believed they were helping me and that it would all be okay.”  3-24-06 
 
“If you’re injured, you’re out.  They won’t re-hire anyone with a back injury.”  3-24-06
 
“There’s not much action on lifting injuries because the nurses get blinked out one at a time.  If they all went out injured at once, there’d be an outcry.”  3-24-06
 
“Here we are, past the Industrial Revolution, and still require manual labor of nurses resulting in thousands of injuries.  Most other industries dealing with heavy materials have incorporated mechanical means to more effectively and efficiently perform work without injury to workers.  This is not to dehumanize patients, but rather to emphasize that 400 lbs is 400 lbs.”  3-24-06
 
“There’s only one Hoyer lift in the nursing home.  The nurse aides wear these belts with hooks in the front for lifting.  Every time I see it, I cringe.  When I try to tell them about back safety, they just look at me.  They’re young and think they can’t get hurt.  They don’t get it.”  3-18-06 
 
“I went for 20 years without an injury and then boom, no matter how careful I had been.  There goes my retirement.  I was banking on retiring from there.”  3-18-06 
 
“I saved a patient from a fall and, the way it happened, probably saved the hospital and the doctor from a lawsuit, and they went on their merry way.  It is my life that’s ruined.”  3-18-06
 
“You hear so much talk about the nursing shortage, how bad it is, and yet there are all of these nurses who get fired when they get injured.”  3-17-06 
 
“As far as my back goes, it is not good.  I have a tremendous amount of pain and am becoming more limited in function.  I still try to go to the pool at least twice a week but my exercises are ridiculously minimal.  Basically, I walk in the water about 10 minutes and do arm exercises and that's all.  When I think back to how active I used to be what I'm able to do now seems like a joke.”  3-17-06
 
“Each year more people are doing things.  Each year there’s more excitement for no lift policies.”  3-13-06
 
“As a veterinarian, picking up calves and lifting Saint Bernards up onto the table, you’d better have some muscle.  I can see why there’s a problem with people, too, when they’re sick and can’t move themselves.  You’d better have some muscle!”  3-13-06
 
“One nurse is off with her second back injury.  Another hurt her back and is on light duty, I don’t know for how long, doing paperwork, not taking patients or doing any lifting.”  3-3-06
 
“I’ve seen them hire people right off the street to work in the offices who climb right up the ladder, big time, into top positions, with very little education.  Why don’t they do that with nurses, and use all of their knowledge, instead of getting rid of the nurses who get hurt?”  3-3-06
 
“Because nurses are caring people, if they really looked at how dangerous the lifting is, they’d have to quit.”  3-2-06
 
“My sister was a nurse for 30 years.  Both of her thumb joints are shot from pumping up blood pressure cuffs.  She got a bad back from lifting, pulling, bending, and twisting, and varicose veins from being on her feet, pounding the halls hour after hour after hour.”  3-1-06
 
“You have one chance.  You have a good back and then you’re on the other side of it – one chance!”  3-1-06
 
“Just because you can lift doesn’t mean you should.”  3-1-06
 
“Sometimes it seems that change is such a hassle that you just keep on doing what you’ve done all along.”  3-1-06
Apathy on stopping preventable injuries from patient lifting is perplexing, but may be partially explained by many nurses being unaware of how and why patient lifting damages spinal discs and vertebral endplates, info which is little publicized. 

Many nurses may believe they are only at risk of sprains and strains and may be oblivious to the extreme risk of serious spinal damage they are subjected to with patient lifting, which can occur over time, without perception of pain, until "too late" when sudden severe pain announces a spinal injury. 

If the very real danger to their physical well-being and nursing career is known and understood by nurses, they should feel compelled to act to protect themselves, including lobbying for state and national legislation against hazardous manual patient lifting.  It is time for nurses to demand that patient handling practice be based on scientific evidence which has proven that no manual patient lifting is safe. 

It is past time to transfer hazardous lifting from the backs of healthcare workers to machines designed for the task.     Anne, Hudson, RN       
 
“From being a patient for 10 days, it was appalling, in addition to all of the lifting, pushing, and pulling, all the bending nurses do, for taking blood pressure, reading the oxygen monitor, checking IV sites, everything requires bending over.”  2-25-06 
 
“I worked in a home for the developmentally disabled where my wrist was damaged by lifting people.  The surgeon wanted to fuse my wrist with a bone graft from my hip but I wouldn’t be able to bend my wrist anymore, so I didn’t do that.  Workers’ comp retrained me to be a pharmacy tech and gave me ‘ergo-arms’ for my desk, to support my arms.”  2-8-06
 
“We have empathy for our patients but apathy for ourselves.  Those with back injuries just go away and we turn our heads.  Now, it’s not us, it’s you who has the problem.”  1-22-06
 
“There’s a new worker born every second, so out with the old, in with the new.  It’s all about money, not the nurse's health and life.  Wreck ‘em.  Can ‘em.  Buy some more.”  1-10-06
 
“I have degenerative disc disease and a 10 lb lifting restriction that I’ll have to live with the rest of my life.  It is from all the lifting.  But I am very lucky.  They gave me a permanent modified duty position.”  1-8-06  
 

“If you’re hurt, and can’t do the lifting, you’re out.  The hospital doesn’t do anything to help nurses stay with them.  You’re just out.”  1-6-06 

 “Thank you for being our advocate.  We appreciate it.  Patients are getting so heavy.  We used to think 225 to 250 lbs was heavy.  Now we handle 300 lb people every day.”  12-31-05
 
“You are doing a wonderful work for nurses.  Keep it up.”  12-31-05
 
“I’ve been bit, hit, scratched, and threatened to be shot.  And, now, my back is disabled from lifting patients.  Nursing is a very dangerous job.”  12-30-05  
 
“The nurse recruiter told me we can’t use you if you can’t lift 100 lbs.  All the nurses have to do this.  They send you to a functional capacities evaluation with PT watching you.”  12-30-05
 
“I have bulging discs with chronic pain from lifting patients.  If I do the least thing, it feels like a knife in my back.  Nursing has totally ruined me and it’s a shame because I just love nursing.”  12-30-05
 
“With my back injury, I’m trying to figure out what else I can do to stay in nursing and it’s just not easy.  At least another injury years ago gave me the foresight to purchase disability insurance.”  12-30-05
 
“I am so proud of you and your work.  More need to know about what you are doing for the healthcare workers safety on the job.  Keep it up and congratulations to you.”  12-29-05
 
“As we chip away at the old paradigm [of manual lifting] it will one day be destroyed.”  12-27-05
 
“From my nursing work, I have carpal tunnel and tendonitis in my shoulder.  I drop things, can’t dress myself, and can’t even cut a piece of meat.  The workers’ comp doctor said, As long as you can talk and walk and can lift a cup of tea to your lips, you are not disabled.”  12-4-05
 
“I got awards, always got there early, always helped other nurses.  Now people think you’re faking.  When I go out, I have to come home and lie down.  My neck’s killing me, my arms are numb.  To have people tell me I’m lying, it’s been like a kick in the butt.  I know there are a lot of others worse off and I should count my blessings, but there’s always the pain.”  11-27-05
 
“There is life after back injury but it might take a long time.”  11-14-05 
 
“Sometimes it’s the 100 lb patients that are the worst, grabbing you around the neck, asking you to get them up by yourself.”  10-29-05
 
“After all these years as a nurse, I hurt my back on what seemed like a minor lift.  In ER they said lumbar strain.  Now I have pain down my leg and might need some tests.”  10-29-05
 
“Our manager said since we’ve had the class and are trained on the equipment, if we get hurt, it will be our fault.  There’s still a lot of lifting.  If we get hurt, they’ll find a way to blame us.”  10-29-05
 
“I’ve had my second back surgery.  When I was injured, my supervisor tried to get me to sign a paper saying it wasn’t work related.  My doctor says I can never go back to work at the hospital, my back is too bad.  When I lose my benefits, I’ll have to pay over $400 a month for insurance.  How am I going to do that when we’re not making it now?”  10-28-05 
 
“When I saw the hoist, my wife and I both said ‘no hoist’ and asked them to do it, to transfer me.  Then they dropped me.”  10-26-05
 
“In over fifteen years with workers’ comp safety, I’ve seen us pay out $100,000 to $200,000 for a single claim when back injury is a problem throughout the whole healthcare industry.”  10-20-05
 
“They’ve got it turned around backwards.  Mechanical lifting should be taught first as the correct method.  Manual lifting should be taught for emergencies, if there’s a power failure or broken equipment, or some critical situation, then use manual lifting, and just hope your back doesn’t go out of whack.”  10-19-05
 
“To go from manual to mechanical lifting is more costly in the beginning and they don’t want to spend the money.  It’s greed because they have to spend money on the equipment.  Maybe they need to hire a technician to operate the equipment instead of coming under the duties that nurses learn.  It should be a separate type of worker.”  10-19-05 
 
“My nurse friend has had her second cervical spine surgery from lifting patients.  She can hardly turn her head now and asks, What’s going to happen to me when I can’t move at all?”  10-13-05
 
“You’re making a difference.  You are really changing how things are done.”  10-10-05
 
“I just had a baby and thought it was odd how they lifted me onto the table.  There were several of them lifting.  I was surprised.  It never occurred to me that they would lift me like that.”  10-10-05
 
“Change is coming.  My former employer is working with their broken nurses.  Your book is in their library.”  10-8-05
 
“It’s my back.  I bent over to lift and when I came back up, I wasn’t the same.”  10-6-05
 
“That’s stupid to make nurses lift until they’re broken -- with a nurse shortage?  Nurses are more than that.  They’re not just lifters and handmaidens like they were once thought of.”  10-5-05
 
“Every nurse on my unit has a bad back.”  10-5-05
 
“We had a patient so big that it took 10 nurses to turn him.”  9-27-05
 
“The nurses and CNAs call in and stay off with their back for a day or two.  Working part time, you can recover.  The ones who work full-time have it hard.  It’s the day after day lifting that takes a toll.”  9-27-05
 
“I was in on a meeting where the hospital CEO said $2 million a year on injuries was a reasonable expenditure.”  9-26-05
 
“Interesting that OSHA has recommendations on how much to lift and the whole healthcare industry is exempt, or not looked at, or whatever.”  9-21-05
 
“You need to be a body builder on steroids to lift weight like that.”  9-21-05
 
“Preventing injuries has always cost less.  For some reason, it’s hard for them to put the nuts and bolts together.”  9-17-05
 
“I am amazed that the USA still treats nurses as manual lifts!!  I would like to know how to help in the war on ‘nurse terrorism’ called needless injuries.”  9-15-05
 
“Keep up the good work!”  9-15-05
 
“One of the nurses is out with her third neck surgery from patient handling.  She might not be able to come back this time.”  9-15-05
 
“I have just ordered your book and look forward to receiving it.”  9-15-05

 “My wife learned all about it, with lifting people, when she worked as a nursing assistant for four years.”  8-30-05 
 
“CNAs are used and abused.  My niece is off work recovering from a couple of surgeries from lifting patients.  She doesn’t know if she’ll be able to go back.”  8-30-05    
 
“My back is sore from lifting patients in the OR, in the worst positions, in our ‘no lift’ hospital.”  8-30-05
 
“The work you are doing for nurses is a great service and should be publicized.”  8-26-05
 
“I think it is wonderful what you are doing.  It is not easy to dis-entrench practices which have been around in medicine for many years.”  8-25-05
 
“Doctors have known all along that the lifting isn’t good.”  8-25-05
            Medical schools include instruction on damage to the spine from compressive and shearing forces with lifting excessive amounts of weight in awkward positions.  This information is not provided by nursing schools which teach manual patient lifting and do not inform students that lifting patients is a hazardous risk of spinal injury which could easily lead to disability.   Anne Hudson, RN              
 
“My hospital started doing strength testing with lifting but had to quit because the first dozen people all got injured doing the test.”  8-25-05         
 
“I worked at a nursing home until I hurt my back.  We had a lot of residents who needed to be lifted, two-person lifts, a lot of them.  I was taking classes to go into nursing but hurt my back.  It was killing me and I had to quit the nursing home.  That's not why I went to school, with all the hard work, just to give it up.  But there was nothing else I could do.  So, I put in my two weeks notice.  Now I’m considering options in nursing.  I wanted to go into maternity nursing.  It all depends on how it goes with my back.  I just want to not feel so crippled.”  8-24-05

“Where I work, they don’t lift anymore.  When somebody falls, they don’t lift, no matter where they are.  They go get the equipment.  I’m already injured so I don’t work in that part anymore.”  8-17-05
 
“Those of us nurses who think we’re safe are fooling themselves.  It could be any of us who gets hurt.”  8-17-05
 
“We have equipment now but nurses are in such a habit of lifting.  When a 500 lb patient fell in close quarters, nurses gathered to lift her but then stopped and started to discuss the best way to get her up.  We got the lift and eventually figured out how we could use it with this large patient in the small space.”  8-17-05 
 
“What you are promoting with ‘No Manual Lifting’ is a winner – nurses, patients, and insurance companies.  Everybody wins.”  8-17-05
 
“Workers’ comp takes so long to get approval.  When you’re in pain, you don’t feel like waiting to get something done.”   8-6-05
 
“Your work is helping to change things for others.”  7-30-05
 
“Our hospital is supposed to be no-lift, but nurses still lift.  When a patient is down on the floor, a bunch gathers and lifts.  No one thinks to get the equipment.  They just think about getting the patient up, not about keeping themselves from a back injury.”  7-29-05
 
“It’s amazing the pattern I’ve seen in healthcare and other industries that don’t use equipment even when they know the cost benefit of preventing injuries.  What do they have to gain by allowing people to get hurt?”  7-27-05
 
“As a physician, I’ve seen so many injured nurses.”  7-27-05
 
“I like putting it as ‘safe patient handling.’  That gets their attention because it is patients that make them money.  Nurses don’t make them money.  If nurses get hurt, they just get more.”  7-26-05
 
“My first back injury was when another nurse and I were getting a man up and he collapsed.  I reached out and tried to grab him.  It was instinctive, to try to keep him from falling.  That’s how I first hurt my back.”  7-26-05
 
“It’s frightening to work as a nurse.  One thing is the carpet.  Pushing the code cart on carpet slows down getting to the patient.”  7-23-05
 
“So glad to see so many other States falling into line with the Texas legislation for safe patient handling!  Fantastic - even if it saves one nurse from suffering from these injuries!”  7-22-05
 
“When I was teaching nursing students, I always told them you are number one.  Your safety comes first.  How can you help patients if you get hurt?”  7-19-05
 
"I was a hospital floor nurse until a back injury put me out of work.  When I started looking for another job, no one would hire me.  It was humiliating.  I finally found other nursing work, but it is not what I would have chosen.  I miss hospital nursing.”  7-14-05
 
“It’s easy to see why nurses get injured.  It’s hard lifting and pulling people around.”  7-11-05
 
“I’m taking your book to the nursing school, for their library.”  7-10-05 
 
"I've been injured twice from lifting patients, in my back and neck and in my right shoulder.  The pain will continue as long as I keep lifting patients, as long as I work as a floor nurse."   7-8-05
 
"As an injured RN and paramedic both, I am treated as a 'multiple pariah' in both fields."  7-8-05
 
“My sister-in-law is a nursing assistant and hurt her back.  She couldn’t do it anymore and had to quit.”  7-8-05
 
“One of our nurses was off six months with her back and nearly did it again the first day she was back.  At least now we have a couple of male assistants to help with the lifting.”   7-8-05 
 
“We have some lift equipment but you can get into situations.  The other day, a patient thought they could make it but gave out half way through the transfer.”  7-8-05   
 
“I didn’t know they would fire registered nurses who get hurt and can’t lift.  With all of their knowledge, that’s awful.”   7-8-05
 
“I too am a BIN.  Thank you for your time and interest in getting this much needed information out.”   7-7-05
 
“I am a nurse disabled with a shoulder injury. That was the straw that broke the camels back. I was out before that for 6 months with a back injury.”  7-7-05

“I took care of a paraplegic man at home for over two years.  He had a lift that was just great.  I took him everywhere with it, to the chair, to the commode, and sometimes into the bathtub to bathe.  Sometimes I told him, ’It’s time to hang around for a while,’ when I needed to change the bed.  The lift was great.  It helped me move him all over the place.”   6-24-05
 
"I was treated like a pariah by my hospital administration.  I had their legal 'dream team' descend on me.  I basically got paid a small sum to go away, literally, as I was forced to quit, and never return, as part of the agreement."  6-20-05
 
“In Pharmacy, we lift boxes sometimes with 12 1-liter IV bags.  I try not to do that by taking just one or two IV bags at a time.”  6-17-05
 
“Several in housekeeping have been out with their necks and shoulders.”  6-17-05
 
“I’ve been working toward my nursing degree but this makes me think about it again.”  6-17-05
 
“I didn’t realize I had so much invested as a hospital nurse.  When I left, I felt like I was worthless, going from a good-paying job with health insurance and benefits, to nothing.”  6-12-05
 
“Every now and then I get your book out and read parts again.  Like you pointed out, men in warehouses moving boxes are provided mechanical equipment, but not nurses moving people.  That’s not good.”  6-12-05 
 
“I told a graduating student nurse use the lift equipment, and make sure you have enough help, or you can end up being thrown away as an educated piece of trash if you hurt your back."   5-31-05
 
“Keep up that great work.  You have been such a good help to the many back-injured nurses.”   5-26-05 
 
“I was transferring a large man with a co-worker.  As the man went down, my co-worker, who was also a large man, did not have control of him.  I’m small but I caught the man and took the whole load.  That’s how I hurt my back.”  5-17-05
 
“My wife is thinking about leaving nursing.  She’s had two back surgeries and needs her shoulder repaired.”  5-13-05
 
“I’ve been a med/surg nurse for a couple of years.  My back hurts all the time.”  5-13-05
 
“I hurt my lower back lifting people in the nursing home.  Now I drag my right leg and my right foot is cold.  The lift tilted over on me with a 200 lb man.  It pushed me against the wall and crushed my neck.  The man didn’t get hurt but I did.  I have herniated discs in my neck and pain down my right arm.  I can’t turn my head to the side or carry a gallon of milk.  My supervisor at work gave me the wrong information and I didn’t get workers’ comp.  Most of the others I worked with were a lot taller.  Moving people from the wheelchair into bed, I had my co-worker against me, the height of the bed against me, and the weight of the human against me.  My right chest got hurt, bringing people against me to move.  I couldn’t breathe for three weeks.  The doctor said your chest is crushed.  Now I have burning pain in my chest.  I never got any workers’ comp.”  5-11-05
 
“After becoming a CNA, and working just two weeks at the nursing home, I thought, I have to find something else.  I knew my back wouldn’t hold up.”  5-8-05
 
“As a hospice nurse, I teach family members how to turn and move their loved one.”  5-8-05
     Emphasizing the need for insurance coverage of in-home lift equipment.  Ceiling lifts can be configured to take the person from room to room, including into the bathroom for toileting and lowering into the bathtub for bathing without manual lifting.  Anne, Hudson, RN  

“Back injuries and nurses go together.  Every nurse I know has a problem with their back.”  5-5-05
 
“I worry about my daughter-in-law in nursing school.  She’s such a little tiny thing.  I tell her be careful with your back.”  5-5-05
 
“In special needs class, we lift students all the time, wheelchair to changing table and up to the pro-walker.  I told the director we need a policy that we will only lift with two people.”  5-5-05
        Research has shown that there is little decrease in the risk of injury whether with one or two lifters because people do not lift at the same moment, or with an equal amount of effort.  Requiring two lifters would not necessarily protect from injury with lifting hazardous amounts of weight.  The solution is safe mechanical lift equipment.   Anne, Hudson, RN 
 
“We have so many young CNAs now who think they are invincible but when they get a back injury, they have it for life.”  4-30-05
 
“I worked as a nurses aide for two years.  They called me from all three floors to lift because I’m a man.”  4-29-05
 
“My shoulders were destroyed early on as a nurse but I never had a problem with my back until this year.  I woke up one morning with pain shooting like fire down my leg.”  4-28-05
 
“Back injuries are notorious in healthcare.”   4-25-05
 
“I own an adult foster home.  Sometimes I work 16 hours, and have even worked up to 20 hours a day, and do a lot of lifting with my residents.   But it’s a small business and that lift equipment costs money.  If my back goes, I hope somebody puts a gun to my head and shoots me.”   4-22-05
        Caregivers routinely jeopardize their own safety and health to provide care for others.  There is need for insurance coverage of patient lift equipment across all healthcare and residential settings, wherever dependent persons require lifting.  It has been said that the number one reason for nursing home admission is inability of family members to lift and move their loved one.  Anne, Hudson, RN 

“I have done fairly well since my spinal fusion, except I waited too long and have nerve damage in my right anterior thigh.”  4-21-05

“I had back surgery at 22 and then went into nursing.  That sure wasn’t very smart.  The only reason I’m still there is my unit.  I couldn’t work on med/surg or any other unit with heavy lifting.  I would have been gone a long time ago.” 
4-19-05
 
“We have a new No Back Injury policy.  Now it will go on our performance review if nurses are caught not lifting safely.” 
4-13-05
 
“I herniated three discs leaning over to lift a patient when her legs went out from under her.  My back injury caused a lot of pain during the last months of pregnancy when I was so big and especially having the baby.  There was already the labor to deal with plus the back pain.  It was awful.”  4-12-05
 
“The lots of good research and testimonials in your book helped me in court.  My lawyer submitted one of your drawings of a nurse doing a lateral transfer, which is how I hurt my back.  When my lawyer asked what I was now doing instead of ER nursing, I said home health nursing and just started boo wooing to beat the band.  It was certainly not planned or intentional but a real expression over what I was feeling.”  4-6-05
 
“Now that I’m disabled by lifting patients, and fired from my job, my old work place is advertising their new Zero Manual Lifting policy.  All we can do is hope it works for others.”  3-26-05
 
“In my position with workers’ compensation, unfortunately I see a great many injured nurses go from nursing into other types of work.”  3-22-05
 
"I am now in a Master's program, and every opportunity that I have I use zero manual lift, or no patient lift, for my topic of discussion."  3-22-05
 
“I just re-read 3 chapters of your book.  I was thinking of taking it to my
lawyer to look at."  3-16-05
 
“Thank you for your hard work!  You are helping to change the work place for nurses and I am grateful.”  3-16-05  
 
“Years ago, I worked as a nurses aide and learned how hard the work was.  I learned about the medical aspect and loved it because it was helping people, but I decided I didn’t want to do that the rest of my life.”  3-15-05
 
“A 400 lb patient is in a small private room.  There is not enough room to maneuver around to use the sit-stand lift and, really, I don’t think the lift could take her.  The large-size commode could take her, but no one can find it.  I think she could pivot transfer to the commode with help getting up but we can’t find the commode so she has to use the bedpan.  That is a disservice because it doesn’t help her to improve.  The AirPal helps a lot but it still takes four nurses to turn her onto the pan.  We face situations like this all the time.  Our unit manager said that since the hospital has equipment now, nurses will be reprimanded if we get hurt.”  3-12-05
 
“You have really championed a cause!”  3-12-05
 
“My wife is getting tired of nursing.  A 600 lb patient asked my wife to turn her, to put a pillow under her back.  My wife said she couldn’t do it and had to get four other nurses to help turn the patient.”  3-10-05 
 
“We are using the ceiling lift on a 350 lb patient.”  3-3-05
 
“When the nurses were discussing if our unit should have its own sit-stand lift, someone said what happened to Anne Hudson is the best example of why we need it.”  3-3-05
 
“Not taking safety measures that are obvious to prevent injuries for a small cost is gross negligence.”  2-27-05
 
“Our Veterans Administration hospital gave me a permanent light duty position and I am so thankful.  I think that because I work for the V.A., I have been so well taken care of, even though I was pretty severely back injured.”  2-24-05
 
“I always tried to be careful with my back.  Now that I have a back injury, I have a real appreciation for the issue.”  2-22-05 
 
“Since my injury, I have been left in an absolute mess.  Currently, I must live on less income per week than I earned for one nursing shift.”  2-19-05
 
“I had 13 residents to take care of by myself, getting them from the bed to the wheelchair, and from the wheelchair to the commode.  I had a two-handed gait belt, to get hold, to lift.  You’re still lifting with a gait belt.  For standby assist, the gait belt is to catch them if they start to fall.  One man was light, because he was so skinny, but was so tall, about 6’4”, that I was afraid he would totter over when I went to get him up.”  2-14-05

“I teach nursing Skills Lab and Clinical classes.  We'll be covering ergonomics and lifting in a few weeks.  Your information is invaluable to students!”   2-10-05

“A nurse I used to work with had a really bad back injury and became wheelchair bound.  She and her husband sold their home and moved to another town with better wheelchair access, so she could get into more places in her wheelchair.”  2-8-10

“It’s awful.  You’re injured.  You’re disposable.  And now you need an attorney.”  1-29-05

“I can’t believe this happened to me.  I didn’t get a lawyer for workers’ comp because I thought they were treating me fairly, right up until they turned me out the door.  Now I have no job and no insurance.  I’m afraid I’ll become a bag lady.”  1-22-05

“I was a transporter at the hospital until I hurt my back.  Three of the transporters had back injuries.  Two had surgery.  I don’t know how many, but a lot of people have been hurt.” 
1-19-05

“A CNA I know was hurt real bad lifting a patient.  She’s still working but as a unit secretary now.”  1-19-05 

“Getting injured on that patient messed up my life so bad I can't believe it.  I worked over 20 years for them and now can't even get a job.  I've applied everywhere and don't even get calls back.  I don’t have any insurance and can’t buy my medicine.  I don't know what I'm going to do.”  1-17-05

“People with power use it to the inth degree and it’s the same everywhere.  It isn’t illegal to injure nurses lifting patients and fire them, but it is nasty and it is evil.”  1-16-05

“There was a 400 lb man with a broken leg in the ER we had to move.  Patients are so much bigger now.  My back is already injured.  I’m holding out for surgery until there’s something better available than having cages put in.  I go to the gym to stay in shape.”  1-15-05

“Hospitals are indifferent to the needs of the working class, that is the working nurses, because management and workers think differently.  They look at us as expendable, like a light bulb.  When you go out, they throw you away, just dump you, and go get another bulb that burns.  They don’t think of you anymore.  They’ve dismissed you.  You’re gone because you’re not burning for them anymore.”  1-11-05

“My aunt was a nurse for years.  Now she can hardly move.”  1-11-05

“I received notification that I was approved for Social Security Disability.  It would have been better to receive a letter saying after today, your back is better.  After today, you're all fine.  At least disability is a good consolation prize, but getting it wasn’t easy.  It took two appeals of them denying it and almost four years from when I was injured.”  1-6-05

“We have equipment now but some nurses don’t use it.  They won’t take the extra minute or two.  They say this will be quick.  I tell them, let’s ask Anne Hudson.”  12-31-04
 
“The work you are doing is intensely important.  Not many injured workers have a voice.  You are speaking for them.” 
12-28-04
 
“You are our hero.  Your articles are posted on the unit at work.  You are a great advocate for us nurses.  Thank you and keep up the good work.”  12-24-04
 
“My mother hurt her back lifting a patient who had died.  If she worked anywhere else, she would have lost her position.  They would have said you need to go find something you can do.  She’s back to work now, still lifting.”   12-23-04
 
“My 19-year-old daughter works in a care facility.  Her back just kills her from lifting people.  They are so heavy.  I told her she has to find another job.”  12-22-04
 
"My heart is so full of grief for the many wonderful nurses that are ruined for life.  I am actually doing fairly well despite the arachnoiditis and the legal issues."  12-8-04
 
“It took us a while to get to where we wanted to be as nurses.  The options we have now that we’re injured are very closed and will be.  I think hospitals don't have injured nurses come back because then people would find out how injured they are.” 
11-29-04
 
“At settlement, workers' comp gave me a whole $4,000 for loss of earning power.”  11-29-04
 
“Nurses are really ambitious hardworking people.  They don't want to be on disability.  They want to work.  That’s why they went to nursing school.”  11-29-04
 
“Injured people are looked at as faking.  When I was in the ER for pain and muscle spasms, my nurse was a friend I had worked with for years.  She said your blood pressure sure is low for somebody's who's in a lot of pain.  Then, I went out on a good day without my cane and saw one of my doctors.  He just gave me a dirty look.”  11-29-04
 
“The workers’ comp system has turned it around backwards, making injured nurses guilty and the employer innocent.  It’s immoral, unethical, and has criminal implications.”  11-26-04
 
“I got a letter from the workman’s comp board saying I lost my case.  The judge agreed with workman’s comp that my back wasn’t injured at work, by catching the patient.”  11-26-04
 
“Congratulations on your book.  This is a great work, saving the backs of healthcare workers.”  11-24-04
 
“Going to the chiropractor is the only thing that keeps me working.  I tell the other nurses you better not say anything if your back hurts.  If you think it will turn out okay, you are wrong.  You can read right here what happens to nurses in this book.  If you want to keep your job, you had just better keep it to yourself.”  11-24-04
 
“When I saw the title, I thought my back’s not hurting so, so what?  Then I started reading and found the info very enlightening and interesting.  People just don’t know about this.  I support what you’re doing.”  11-22-04
 
“There have been more injured nurses.  They fire or get rid of them all.  It’s horrible what they do when you’re injured.  Thank you for all the work you’re doing.”  11-21-04
 
“I was approved for social security.  I got 55% disability for my back and 65% for my shoulder, but I want to work.  I don’t want social security.  I want to work and keep my insurance and benefits.”  11-21-04
 
“I talked with a young girl about to graduate from high school.  She said she wanted to go into nursing.  I congratulated her and then told her, “The equipment to lift patients is there but in school they will emphasize physical lifting.  Put them on the spot.  Ask questions in the classroom.  Don’t get behind the closed door.  Let the other students know you are asking questions.  If you get hurt, you will be out like a light bulb.  You’re just as expendable as a light bulb.  If you put the instructors behind the eight ball, with too many questions, they’ll go higher up for the answers.  That’s called the ripple effect.  The squeaky wheel gets the oil.  They won’t give you any answers at first.  But if you keep aggravating them, that’s when you’re the squeaky wheel.”  11-16-04     
 
“I heard you speak about nurse back injury.  My sister is a hospital nurse and she also has a child who is wheelchair bound.  I want to get your book for her.”  11-14-04
 
“My CNA instructor worked for the hospital for 10 years.  She had a back injury and they just booted her out.”  11-12-04
 
“I read about your book in the newspaper.  They don't make coal miners lift like that.  Nurses are just used up and worn out because people are cheap.  And they are just women.  They aren't looking for a heart of gold.  They're looking for gold." 
11-9-04
     Many employers persist in saying lift equipment “costs too much.”  Medical and compensation costs for a single injured nurse requiring extensive spinal surgery, or multiple surgeries, often run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The estimated cost to replace one med/surg nurse is $46,000; to replace one critical care nurse is $64,000.  Outfitting a room with a ceiling lift is about $5,000; a transfer stretcher/chair is about $11,000.  Safety is not an expense; safety is a cost-saving measure to retain valuable healthcare workers and to save the financial resources of employers and insurance companies.   Anne, Hudson, RN
 
“As an injured nurse, I’ve seen the cycle of pain, pills, depression, and anxiety, go around again and again.”  11-9-04
 
“I'm a nurse and haven't been able to work since my back injury four years ago.  I went to lunch the other day with five of the nurses I used to work with.  Five of the six of us around the table have been injured.  One was out for six months last year but is working again with herniated discs.  She doesn’t want anyone to find out.  She’s scared she would lose her job.  People just don't know what happens to us.  That's why it's so important to get the book out, so people will know. ”  11-9-04
 
“Thank you for telling me about your book.  I can certainly sympathize with a back injury.  I have had nine surgeries to my low back and three to my neck.  Seems after the first spine surgery, it just doesn’t end.”   11-5-04 
 
“I’m a dental assistant with neck and back problems from being bent over and twisted for long periods to get into the patient’s mouth.  I lift children and people from wheelchairs up into the chair, too.  I don't know anyone in dental work without neck or back pain.”  11-2-04
 
“We have a big problem in this country with obesity and it is getting worse all the time.  And, with the nursing shortage, and with nurses getting older, it is clear that something has to be done to protect against back injuries from lifting patients.”  10-29-04
 
“I’ve heard that in countries with socialized medicine, the care is sometimes substandard.  It’s hard to understand that they are ahead with not lifting patients.  The U.S. is supposed to have the best healthcare in the world.  It’s hard to understand that our healthcare employees are so maltreated.”  10-29-04”
 
“I checked your book out of the library.  Because of your efforts, we have a lot of equipment now.  I believe the hospital is really focused on back injuries.”  10-28-04
 
“I still have a lot of leg pain.  I’m exercising a lot, trying to live with it.  My doctor said if I don’t improve, we could try more back surgery but I don’t want to go there.  I’m still in a lot of counseling from what happened three years ago.   We’ll always have the pain, I will, and a lot of other nurses who have been injured.”    10-26-04  
 
“Zero Lift with equipment works!  It’s an absolute way to keep nurses.  But not every place has it.  I guess it’s just public knowledge that’s needed.”   10-26-04
 
“My friend in her 40’s did in-home care for a man who had a stroke until she hurt her back.  The man had no use of his right arm and used a cane and walker but he still fell down all the time.  There was only one caregiver at a time with him and she had to pick him up by herself.  One night, her back just went.  She had metal screws and plates put in but she’ll never be the same.  She can’t work anymore.”   10-25-04
 
“When injured nurses get angry, they feel guilty for being angry because that’s the way they were trained.  I got angry over my situation and, then, I got depressed because I was angry.  That’s just the way women are. I don’t know about men.  I have stomach ulcers from taking so much ibuprofen and now I have high blood pressure.  When I went to the doctor, he said you have stomach ulcers but what’s your blood pressure doing being 140/104?  I said I’m anxious.  He said he’d fix my stomach but he didn’t get it that my anxiety was over my situation.  The stomach ulcers are just one more thing to deal with.”   10-21-04

“I’ve read your book – it’s awesome – and most of the nurses I work with have read it, too.  I hope you are writing more about back injuries.  We need people to know about us.”  10-2-04

“I worked as an LVN in extended care and then as a private caregiver.  I had one home-care man about 48 with Lou Gehrig’s.  He was about 6’6” tall and was to the stage of needing to be lifted from the bed to the commode, from the commode to the chair, from the chair to the commode, and from the commode back to bed.  That was his routine.  From sitting I raised him to his feet by myself, with his knees between my knees and his arms over my shoulders.  He tried to help by stiffening his body and once on his feet could pivot transfer.  His family called for me to come in on my day off.  They didn’t want the relief nurse because she dropped him a couple of times.”  10-1-04      

"Use your book.  It's an important avenue to more publicity.  Injured nurses are put aside, and just left there, where no one thinks about them anymore.  They're just gone, like out of sight, out of mind."  9-26-04

“One nurse who hurt her back couldn’t go back to her position.  They terminated her.  She moved away and now she’s living with her sister.  She hasn’t been able to find a job.  She can’t get a job as a nurse because she can’t lift.  I don’t know what she’s going to do.”  9-18-04

“My back hurts every day but I haven’t had surgery.  I have 10 or 12 more years to work so I changed to a unit without much lifting.  I can see myself working there until I retire.”  9-18-04

“I’m a nurse who ruptured two discs moving a patient.  Workers Comp denied me.  The hospital terminated me in a letter I got in the mail.  No one called me.  There was no explanation in the letter.  I called H.R. and the C.E.O. but they won’t return my calls.  I can’t believe this has happened to me.”  9-18-04

“I saw you on TV, about lifting patients, and said I know that lady.  Men in warehouses don’t lift that kind of weight.  It’s no wonder so many nurses hurt their backs.  Nurses need to learn the new methods of lifting with equipment.”  9-18-04

“Your book is incredible.  It is making a difference.”  9-16-04

“A separate course in patient handling should be required in nursing schools, emphasizing that manual lifting is only to be used in dire life-and-death emergencies, like if someone's hurt in the middle of the road and are about to get run over.  And, how many times a day or night do two of you go in and pull a patient up from the foot of the bed?  That’s just that much more strain on your body.”   9-3-04 

“Workers’ comp was hideous, just hideous, the most hideous thing I’ve ever experienced.  You think that the money you’re putting into workers’ comp is to help your employer take care of you if you’re hurt.  But it isn’t.  The money is to protect the employer.  In court, my employer was sitting at the other table.  They came to testify against me, not to help me, and all I wanted was my medical covered.  I think it’s because we are women that we do whatever they tell us.  We don’t think to say I can’t do that.  We just do it.  Then, when we’re hurt, well, it’s just too bad.  There’s no advocate for nurses.”  8-30-04

“I saw you on TV and thought I know that person.  Good for you!  That’s where I first heard the information about your book.  Now they’ve bought lift equipment, the type with slings, and are teaching everyone how to use it.”  8-28-04

“The way the book brings the international together is tremendous.”  8-26-04

“In reading your book, the thing that I have found most surprising, is that nurses who have unions seem to have no more protection in keeping their jobs than the nurses who work in hospitals with no unions.   We have few unions compared to the more northern states.  The Workers' Comp situation seems to be very bad throughout the country as well.”  8-25-04

“I am now on page 123 of your book, and have a better understanding of a lot of things.  I know I have difficulty even driving around town sometimes, and I use a lumbar cushion in my seat.  I wore an elastic back brace when I flew, and I think it helped prevent any jarring, but I don't think I am up to any long road trip.”   8-19-04

“I am presently buying a copy of your book and look forward to including information about back injury in nurses in an article that I am writing.  Working as a surgeon, I have been very involved in a back injury prevention program.  While there are numerous European companies making excellent patient care lifts, our healthcare system has been slow to accept their use.”  8-16-04

“I saw about your book in the paper and thought I know that person!”  8-14-04

“Your book arrived from Amazon today and I have only started to read it, but am so pleased with my purchase.  You are a very brave woman, and I thank you for all that you have done to help all healthcare workers.”   8-11-04

“Good luck with your book and all of your efforts to help nurses.  I’m going to buy your book and mail it to you to sign.”  8-9-04

“I am a nurse who worked for the V.A. for five years.  I did a lot of lifting and, let me tell you, those are big guys!  Many of them had post-traumatic stress, too, so, when you went to move them, they would get combative.  One took a swing and my glasses went flying across the room.”  8-9-04 

“Nurses give all of this care.  We're trained to take care of everyone else, but not to take care of ourselves.”  8-9-04

“We had a lift but guess where it was – at the end of the hall with IV poles and all kinds of stuff in front of it.  If we did get it out, the battery might be dead, and where were the slings?  We didn’t bother trying to get the lift.  It was too much trouble.”  8-9-04

"I am an injured RN and definitely have a story to tell.  I was so relieved to find your website.  I have felt so isolated, and have experienced a lack of concern (and even intimidation) from my employer.  I ordered the "Back Injury among Healthcare Workers" book from Amazon.  I have also read "A Job to Die For" and could relate to many of the experiences described in that book, even though it was not exclusively about healthcare workers."  8-6-04
 
“Nurses are only a commodity to them.  When injured, question all of their promises – before your claim is settled.  After what I’ve experienced, even if they promised me a gold Bible, I wouldn’t trust them.”  8-1-04 
 
“I continue to mention your book wherever I can.”  7-31-04
 
“I was in your session [at the Healthcare Ergonomics Conference].  To me, it was the heart of the conference.  What you are doing means so much to nurses.  Thank you.”  7-27-04 
 
“My husband is a nurse with a neck injury.  He was lifting a 300 lb patient who grabbed him around the neck when the patient’s legs gave out.  Two other nurses were injured by the same patient lifting him the same way.  They should have figured out not to lift the patient after the first injury.  Now my husband can only work as the medication nurse.  If he didn't work for the V.A., he wouldn’t be working at all.  He would have been fired anyplace else because he can’t lift.”  7-27-04
 
“It’s been 3 ½ years and my workers’ comp is not over yet.  My back injury has impacted me financially and in everything.  Yesterday, bird seed was on sale.  I got three 10 lb bags, putting them into the cart one at a time.  By the time I got to the check out, I had to have help.”  7-24-04
 
“We cared for my mother-in-law at home and used a Hoyer lift to move her, turn her, and get her up into the shower.  We used it for everything because she was heavy, about 290 lbs, and short, and it got so that we just couldn’t move her without it.  We found this one at Salvation Army for $400 and that was a bargain.”  7-21-04  
 
“Since I hurt my shoulder, they got a lift at work and we use it now.  We don’t lift anymore.  Several others got hurt, too, from the lifting, some pretty bad.  Not all of them have been able to come back to work.  Now, if someone’s on the floor, we get the lift.  A resident slid out of her wheelchair in the dining hall last week and we brought the lift right into the dining hall.  I feel safer using it.”  7-20-04
 
“I was glad to see your name with the Healthcare Ergonomics Conference coming up next week.  I’m glad you’re still out there making yourself heard, helping change things.  I want to be there for your program and hope to get to talk to you.”  7-20-04
 
“I worked as a CNA in a care facility where I had the whole floor of 16 residents.  When I said I can’t do this, my back is hurting, my supervisor said if you file workers’ comp, I’ll tell them you were carrying firewood, which I did.  So, I quit and got an in-home job for a woman with MS.”  7-12-04
 
“I’m a CNA and took care of a 200 lb quadriplegic man before I was injured.  I used to lift him from the chair to the bed, to the commode, back to the chair, all over the place, lots of times every day.  I’m strong and could do it.  When I went for the interview, they had me lift him back and forth 10 times.  Sweat was just pouring off.  I said, “What are you trying to do, kill me?!”  7-11-04

“When I first saw your book, I thought it would help my nurse friend who works on the floor learn how to lift.  Now I see it will help her learn how to not lift.”  7-9-04
 
“I’m a BSN student with a bad back already.  I plan to work in a hospital only about a year, to get lots of experience, before going to some other, more independent, kind of nursing.”  7-8-04
 
“I saw you on TV – good for you!”  7-8-04
 
“I assist in a doctor’s office and have to lift people from their wheelchair up to stand on the scales.  I try to be careful lifting.  He’d never spring for lift equipment.  Looks like he’d rather see me injured and let go than get the equipment.”  7-7-04
 
“My 80-year-old mother had crushing fractures of her spine from caring for my father at home, pushing him in his wheelchair and trying to help lift and move him.  She finally had to put him in a nursing home.  Now, her rib cage is pressed down against her hip bone.  She’s all bent over.  I know it was the lifting.”   7-7-04
 
“You keep searching, trying to get back to the way things were before you were injured and it doesn’t happen.  It never will happen but you keep trying.  Some are too depressed to even talk about it.”  7-6-04
 
“We have these sleeper chairs and one of the L&D nurses lifts them.  I say push it.  Who cares if it tears up the new wax job?  Take care of yourself.  A lot of women are having epidurals, too.  Lifting them is like dead weight.”   7-5-04
 
“When I arrive, I bring the equipment into the hall so it will be there when we need it.  It’s right there in the hall but some of the nurses still won’t use it.”  6-29-04
 
“I’m glad to see your book.  I’ve been a good nurse and always thought if I got hurt they would let me decide to keep working.  I knew nothing about workman’s comp and how the system operates to eliminate injured nurses.  Nurses never talk about this.  It’s like we think it will all somehow be okay if we get hurt.  Nurses are real head-in-the-sand on work injury.”  6-12-04
 
“I was a caregiver and had 16 residents by myself.  I herniated my two lowest discs when I leaned over the bed to lift.  I was one of the most asked for CNA's.  Now the nursing home is treating me like dirt.  I had to choose from a list of doctors approved by workers’ comp.  I finally saw a doctor and he sent me for steroid shots in my back and they didn’t help.  So they want to try more shots.  The doctor said he won’t operate on me because I’m too young.  I’m 23.  My back and leg hurt so bad.  Sometimes I can’t feel my foot at all and that scares me.  I want to have children someday and not feel like I’m in an 80-year-old body.  I was thinking about going to nursing school.  That’s why I became a CNA, to gain some experience.  I’m out of a job.  I don’t have any insurance.  I had a good orthopedic doctor who was on my side but the insurance company won’t pay for me to see him.  They made me choose from their list.  It’s their doctor who said he won’t operate on me.”   5-20-04
 
“Your book is such an example of how local people can impact the bigger picture.”  5-20-04
 
“They talked about your book at the state nurses’ convention.  They used the case studies as examples of what happens to nurses after they’re injured.”  5-20-04  
 
“I saw your TV interview.  You are doing a great, great work.  You are going beyond the level of patient care to healing the system.”  5-20-04
 
“Most nurses have back problems from all the heavy lifting and being constantly on their feet.  With the nursing shortage, it’s even worse because now they have to do more and more with fewer and fewer nurses.”  5-18-04
 
“I’ve seen you in several publications and on TV about your book.  I took the articles into work and said can’t we get Anne Hudson in here to talk to the nurses?”  5-15-04 
 
“I’m a nurse and, until I read your book, I thought hospitals would keep nurses working doing something else without lifting if they got injured.  Now I know better.”   5-15-04 
 
“I requested that the University order your book.  It’s now in the stacks.  Best wishes.”  5-14-04
 
“My mother is a nurse.  She has worked in NICU, L&D, and ICU.  That’s the only thing she doesn’t like about nursing – the back pain.”  5-3-04 
 
“I’m a CNA and EMT and will be in nursing school in the fall.  I think can’t you just pass the patient lifting on to the CNA’s but that’s just passing the injuries on to them.  Using lift equipment is the answer.”  5-3-04
 
“I saw you on TV and said, “Hey, that’s Annie.  I know her!  I’m proud of you. ”  5-1-04

“The work you are doing will help nurses in the future from being injured.  It won’t help us who are injured now, but it will help others down the line.  It’s appreciated by many people and I’m one of them.”  4-30-04

“After nursing school, I worked at the hospital for a year and had some muscle pulls in my back.  I’m a single mom with a little boy to support.  The pay is less but I left the hospital and came to the office to work before I had a bad injury and was unable to work.”  4-27-04

“They make you feel disposable every day.  Injured nurses are used up and thrown out like kleenex.  When you’re used up, and no use to them anymore, you’re discarded.  Just like that.”  4-27-04

"...A book that has just been released: Back Injury among Healthcare Workers, written by Bill Charney and Anne Hudson–Anne is a staff nurse, disabled due to a back injury.  This book should be in the library for all nursing faculty as you are teaching skills that are not evidence-based."  Pat Quigley, PhD, ARNP, CRRN.  "2003 FNA President's Address."  The Florida Nurse.  51(4), 1-3. 

“Thank you for the copy of your book.  I am so impressed with it and will take it to our Back Care Trainers and Advisors meeting.”  4-15-04  

“As a new medical/surgical nurse, my friend gave me a copy of your book.  I’ve been reading some of the nurse stories.  What an eye-opener!”  4-14-04

“A lot of the nurses on our unit are getting older and we’re thinking what would happen if we were injured, would we still have a job?  My friends who went into teaching are retiring now in their 50’s.  I won’t get my retirement from the hospital until I’m 65 but I don’t think I can last that long.”  4-13-04

“We have the equipment right here in the hall but nurses don’t use it.  When a patient fell the other day, a large woman about 300 lbs, and I said let’s use the lift, the other nurse said no we’ll just lift her, so we lifted her.  I’m thinking what if we get hurt doing this?”  4-13-04

“I hurt my back and now I’m scared for my job.  It’s horrible, feeling like you’ve done something horrible, like if I ever went to a different job, they’d never take me back if I wanted to return.  It’s just a horrible feeling.”  4-12-04

“A nurse works just like a mule.  I can’t think of any nurse acquaintance who does not suffer from some form of back or leg injury.”  4-6-04

“You would be surprised how many nurses and CNA's I know who have been injured turning and moving patients.”  4-2-04

“When I went to work in med/surg, I said these people are sick and this is hard work!  I switched to L&D and am now out of hospital nursing completely.”  4-2-04

“Injured nurses are cast aside like old furniture.  And they have a history of not taking up for themselves.   Nurses are trained to advocate for clients and families but they don’t do that for each other.”  4-2-04

“Your book is a really good work that really needed to be done.  Who better than someone who has been through it?”  4-1-04

“Finally, someone who can put it into words!”  3-20-04

“I’ve heard wonderful things about your book and saw you on TV.  People care about nurses.   It’s important what you’re doing.”  3-19-04

“I’m a home health administrator and I tell my nurses if you can’t lift, don’t!  I give them whatever equipment they need to not get hurt.”  3-19-04

“Your book and your work for nurses is reaching many.  Keep it up!”  3-15-04

“Nurses don’t care about it until they are injured.  Then, so many are just pushed aside.”   3-13-04

“I saw your book.  Good for you, trying to help nurses not get hurt.”  3-13-04

“I saw your book and will say this:  I’m a nurse in the critical care unit and I flat out will not lift any patients.  They can lay there in a pile of poop and I won’t lift them.  They can bleed to death and I won’t lift them.  They can lay there and die and I won’t lift them.  That’s awful, isn’t it?  I had a back injury in 1986.  It really politicized me.  They can just stay in a pile of poop.  There have been some real situations where people have said all kinds of things about me.  But, if I can’t get help, I won’t do it.”  3-12-04

“My mother has a back problem and sciatica.  We took care of my grandmother at home for several years and now the doctor says my mother’s back problem is from all the lifting.”  3-12-04

“People will pay attention and learn from someone who has been through it.”  3-12-04

“The information in your book needs to start in the schools.  Then, it will be a chain reaction to stop the injuries.”
3-10-04

“I work on a med/surg floor and have been to the doctor with back pain.  I know three nurses who aren’t working anymore because of their backs.”  3-10-04

“If I had charge of teaching a nursing class, I would let them know that there has been an established way of physically lifting patients but I would say you are going to learn how to lift patients mechanically, with this equipment, in order to protect your health.  In the past, student nurses spent hours perfecting physical lifting and probably had only a mention of mechanical lifting maybe with a picture.  The roles would be reversed.  This is a new era and you’re going to stay healthier than your patient by using equipment to do the lifting.”  3-7-04

“I read the stories and thought these are just heart-wrenching.  Nurses had better take care of themselves because if they get hurt, no one cares.”  3-2-04

“Your book is such a powerful document.  It should be in all nursing curriculum.”  3-2-04

“I wondered what those horrendous union dues got me as an injured nurse – zilch.  I was told, "We don't do Workman's Comp."  2-29-04

“I just saw your book this morning.  I’ve had to cut down on work hours because of my back injury.  Thank you for all you’re doing!  Sometimes you feel so all alone.”  2-27-04
 
“Your book is on the Unit – it’s wonderful!”  2-25-04
 
“One of the other nurses had your book at work.  I checked it out of the library.  Thanks so much.  It’s badly needed.” 2-23-04  
 
“My sister-in-law is a nurse and she has to be real careful with her back.  She’s hurt it several times through the years lifting patients.”  2-19-04 
 
"A lot of nurses don’t know that they are slowly causing themselves back problems. Some say that all you have to do is use good body mechanics.  These are the ones who have not noticed the problems yet!  One PT I know says, that if you are lifting patients, it's only a matter of time before you get hurt.  Since PT’s know a lot about correct body mechanics, I believe him."  2-18-04
 
“Your book is quite an accomplishment.  It should be used as text in nursing schools.”  2-18-04
 
“I wonder if all the lifting I did as a mortician is what hurt my back.  I’ve had one back surgery.  We found bodies in all sorts of places and lifted them off the floor or wherever they were.  Now I know there is equipment that could be used.”  2-18-04
 
“Research on preventing injuries lifting patients has been out there for over ten years and nurses are still getting hurt because hospitals don’t want to buy the equipment.  Insurance companies should require the equipment to cut their own costs.”  2-14-04
 
“I checked your book out of the library.  I am very impressed!”   2-14-04
 
“My attorney stated that women in my situation sometimes have to go and live with their parents. That of course did not sit well with me.  I worked too hard for my home to just loose it.  This is unbelievable!”  2-11-04
 
“Workman's Comp again has refused my claim and now has stopped my checks.  I have a mortgage, bills, and a family to support.  What do others do in my situation, besides dig into retirement which I've pretty much depleted already?  A single Mom that has devoted her life to her profession, now sits here wondering what to sell in order to survive.  Quite a bleak statement on our society.”   2-9-04
 
“Being a back-injured nurse is like having your company move overseas.  Your job is pulled right out from under you and you’re just left there with nothing.”  2-7-04
 
“I feel like a wrecked nurse every night when I go home.  My legs and lower back hurt so bad.  I can’t sleep anymore and have to take Benadryl every night or I don’t get any sleep at all.  My back hurts so much I can’t turn over unless I hold onto something.  I just grit my teeth and force myself.  I had to cut back on my work schedule so I’d have two days off in a row to recover enough to go back again.”  2-7-04
 
“So many nurses have back injuries.  It’s just expected.  I know so many, from the time I was a student in the 1950’s.”  2-6-04
 
“I’m an ICU nurse with a ruptured disc and hurt every day at work.  I take ibuprofen at work and Rx pain medication at night and still can’t sleep half the time because of pain.  Even if you don’t lose your job after a back injury, you’re never the same.”  2-5-04 
 
“I sustained a back injury working as an OB RN.  The usual: no bending, stooping, twisting, lifting greater than 10 lbs, prolonged standing or sitting.  I was/am miserable most of the time.  Standing to fix dinner is a challenge.  I went to my PCP, Chiro, Acupuncture, massage, exercise, PT, had MRI and nothing changes the chronic portion.  My back has never healed completely.  WC lawyer wanted me to terminate from employment.  I get the short end of the stick and can't do bedside nursing. There are no jobs for an RN with that many restrictions.”  2-5-04
 
“Thank you for caring for nurses with back injuries.” 2-5-04
 
“I was a registered nurse, working in radiology, at the time of my back injury. I had to fight tooth and nail to get compensation. And it was only due to the fact that I had taken out long term disability insurance (and paid for it) that I am able to have any income at all.  I recently had surgery on my back and will continue to have problems the rest of my life, I am sure.”  2-4-04
 
“I am so happy to see someone addressing this problem for all the nurses who love their job and wish to continue to work without risk of serious injury. Keep up the good work!”  2-4-04
 
“I would like to commend you for your web site.  It offers a lot of good info and support.”  2-3-04

"That's great.  You have a lot of positive feedback on your book.  Somebody has to do it, to speak up for injured nurses." 1-31-04

"I have been educating all of my nurse friends about MSD and nursing.  When going into surgery, I told my nurse in the pre-op area about my injury.  She said, "Oh, so you were not using proper body mechanics while lifting."  My husband said he saw steam coming from my ears as I explained why she should not believe the myth of applying proper body mechanics to lifting patients any more than she should believe in Santa.  After our conversation, she admitted that she occasionally has neck and shoulder problems and has noticed that a lot of her surgery patients are nurses." 1-28-04

 

"Our profession is so large that all it takes to change things is for nurses/aids to be aware of the dangers that are attached to this.  Our injuries should not be a secret, nor should the treatment that we received from our employers!" 1-28-04

"Your book has helped considerably to present well-researched win-win alternative solutions to nurse injuries." 1-24-04

 

"There are many nurses in my extended family and I have shared the book with each of them.  I believe it should be a part of every hospital Policy and Procedure Manual." 1-24-04

 

"I read some of your book.  That sounded horrible.  You know what I mean.  Anyway I am quite impressed.  You are a very intelligent woman using your brain to better our world; Right On!" 1-23-04

 

"I know a nurse who worked in critical care for many years, a very experienced nurse.  Since her back's been hurt she's had to leave the hospital and is now looking into some other kind of work." 1-22-04

 

"It's not a book you sit down and read all at once.  It's a reference book - you select out and read what pertains to you." 1-19-04

 

"The information nurses have shared about their injuries is astonishing.  I, also, had surgery for 2 ruptured discs.  The symptoms are diminishing but I had a really hard time with the surgery.  I had so much pain and nausea.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone or any nurse ever.  I hope your message gets out there loud and clear.  Keep up the good work." 1-19-04

 

"I'm going to use the book with the papers I have to fill out.  I have 4 pages of papers to fill out about my injury and just lack the energy to do it.  The pain medicine for my back makes me sick.  I throw up 3 or 4 times a day." 1-16-04

 

"I've had surgery on my neck and back from lifting patients and need surgery on my shoulder.  I'm afraid of losing my job if I miss work because of pain." 1-16-04

"There's so much in the book.  It's like a comprehensive textbook.  That's how I use it, as a reference book." 1-15-04

 

"I have mentioned and praised your website and book.  Nurses were asking if anyone had ever done statistics on nurses with back injuries on the job, and some were asking if they practiced 'proper body mechanics' how could they be hurt!  I am to have my 3rd epidural injection and a 2nd opinion before spine surgery." 1-7-04

 

"I bought your book some time ago and that's how I found out about WING USA.  The book was expensive but worth every penny of it.  By the way, is that an x-ray of your spine with all of the hardware in the book?  It made my knees weak looking at it!" 1-7-04

"The workers compensation system is there to deny these back injuries as 'preexisting' leaving nurses out in the cold to deal with debilitating injuries that are theirs for a lifetime.  We are all nurses who, even in our pain, are trying to figure out how to make others aware."  1-6-04

 

"I really enjoyed reading the book that you wrote and would like to know why there's so much information out there that not only the general population, but our fellow nurses, are not aware of this?!  We are a large group of workers.  I think if more nurses new of the statistics of MSD and the way that employers treat injured nurses, more would be done.  I suggest more articles in nursing magazines." 1-4-04

 

"My employer said mine was a preexisting illness despite my back pain increasing to leg pain and numbness after doing a lateral transfer with a 200 lb critical patient.  I am such a good nurse and I can't believe that once I had the diagnosis of herniated discs they said there was no work for me.  I found out that one week after this happened to me, another nurse was forced to quit because of a back injury.  Thanks so much for your work with this, now I don't feel so alone in this mess." 1-4-04   

 

"Nurses need support such as the WINGS USA website so they can know they are not alone.  Also ideas of what they can do in the field of nursing when they are given a 20 lb weight limit for life.  I am trying to figure out if I need to get a BSN or MSN or what???"  1-4-04

 

"I have been so intrigued with the contents of your book.  Just grinds me that I did not have to sustain the back injury.  I am terminated from my hospital employment and battling them over work comp issues." 1-4-04

"Thank you so much for your work on the subject of nurses with MSD.  I bought your book from Amazon and haven't been able to put it down.  I am devastated!   I was a faithful ER/ICU nurse for 22 years, giving nursing "my all," never knowing that helping save the lives of critically ill patients would cost me my health, financial resources and ability to be a wife to my husband.  After 2 herniated discs from lifting a 220 lb. patient onto an exam table with the assistance of one other, I could not walk, sit on a toilet or even dress myself. The leg pain I have experienced is unbelievable but not as bad as the pain of being terminated for 'absenteeism.'  When I needed epidural injections and surgery with 3-6 months rehab they fired me.  I felt like a piece of old broken furniture.  I have been reading all that I can on this subject and hope to help the younger nurses out there somehow, even if it's just by telling them what happened to me. I must say before this happened I had the best job I had ever had.  I thought I was a valued member of a team.  That's what they told me in orientation." 1-2-04

      Your painful experience illustrates why the stories of injured nurses must be told.  It is little recognized, and goes unchallenged, that many nurses are terminated after suffering severe spinal injuries from unnecessary manual patient lifting. Anne, Hudson, RN

“I am a male nursing student in Canada.  In my first semester of nursing I noticed the emphasis put on back injury prevention (through BIPP etc).  From that I read of the success lift teams had in preventing back injury.  After briefly reading about these teams, I have decided to do my part to lobby for them here and hopefully have them implemented.  I searched for your book in the medical and local library to no avail. I was wondering if you have any advice in how to proceed with my cause.” 12-30-03

 

It is wise to take seriously the threat to health and nursing career from unsafe manual lifting.  Good for you in lobbying for lift teams. Trained lift teams, using appropriate lift equipment, do prevent injuries!  Have you found concerned others willing to help lobby for lift teams?  Continue to educate yourself on the subject and don't give up!   

Why not ask the libraries to buy Back Injury among Healthcare Workers: Causes, Solutions, and Impacts, so that many others would also have access to the info?  Libraries have been agreeable to purchasing the book because they find that they have nothing on the subject and they are pleased to add a new topic to their collection. 
Anne, Hudson, RN

“I am enjoying your book.  We know what the outcome will be if nothing is done.  If the message gets out with the solutions or a path that the healthcare industry can follow, this problem can be turned around!  I am totally convinced of this.  That is what has happened here in Canada and the improvements/standards that have come out of this initiative are already significant.  The plight in the U.S. is incredibly similar to the direction we were heading in Canada.”  12-6-03

“My sister goes into people’s homes and takes care of them, all kinds of people, for the hospital.  I’m going to mail a copy to her.  She needs to see this.”  12-4-03
 
“I’m out of hospital nursing because of my knees and back.  I never filed a claim because it happened over time, like it was just me wearing out.”  11-21-03
 
“For those who don’t understand the issue, who don’t know what’s going on, here’s the book.  If you don’t read it, you won’t know it.”  11-20-03
 
“You have done a great thing and I hope it makes a big change but it will be a hard battle because the bottom line is the dollar sign.  As long as people are uninformed and are under-employed, such as CNA’s, and have bills to pay and kids to feed, they’ll keep lifting patients.  This puts their backs at risk and sets them up to be ground up by the system which spits them out injured.”  11-19-03

 “Anne Hudson has compiled stories that expose the shameful treatment of injured healthcare workers at the hands of their employers.  Reading the stories brings bile to the throat and tears to the eyes.  These stories would be curious, perhaps suspect if they were spurious; unfortunately, they are decidedly representative of tens of thousands of healthcare workers, largely women, who suffer PREVENTABLE injuries while caring for others.

"I am one of those so injured and no longer able to practice bedside nursing, in fact, disabled from reasonable employment.  The egregious behavior of my former employer (a work comp dispute rate of nearly 60%, failure to provide accommodation, sending injured nurses back to work and to exacerbation of the injury and often unjust termination) is such that the nurses at this hospital quip that it is better to run out in the street and get hit by a car (after being injured in the hospital) than to report the injury and be at the mercy of the hospital.  There is no mercy. 

"Furthermore, the lack of support and activism within the nursing profession is supremely disappointing.  The days of caring for each other are long gone or were mythical to begin with.  Only in the nurse's mind does caring for others exist; the absence of activism demonstrates we fail miserably to care for our colleagues and ironically, fail to care for ourselves by pretending the work injury issue is non-existent. 

"A back injury is the kiss of death for a nurse's career.  If nurses realized that when one nurse is championed, the whole team wins we would finally see meaningful changes in preventing job related back injuries.  It is all just so disappointing women have not learned the lessons of team playing.

"Thank you, Anne, for having the courage to champion the team and air the dirty laundry, hidden in the closet of denial, and expose the healthcare industry's  eager willingness to exploit this illogical, codependent and destructive behavior so prevalent in the nursing profession.  I commend those few, like Anne, who are fighting for the profession.” 11-19-03

  From a back-injured nurse:  "I am in constant pain, I can barely drive my child to school in the morning, then I'm crawling up the stairs afterwards to take a pain killer and get to the heating pad.  I couldn't handle working now.  I've contacted the company for short term insurance and still working with my attorney to get Workman's Comp reinstated. It's such a SLOW process.  As far as our union, they are worthless.  I've contacted them a few times, talking to many and the same response is "WE DON'T DO WORKMAN'S COMP, HIRE AN ATTORNEY."  However they are very good about collecting union dues and raising them!"  Anne, Hudson, RN

"Congratulations for the wonderful achievement of the publication of your book.  It has been a huge amount of work and of course would not have been possible without great determination and dedication on your part.  Good on you mate…its fantastic."  11-9-03

“I am enjoying the book, as I am one of a group of nurses attempting to address safe nursing issues surrounding long term residential care in the province.”  11-5-03
 
“The book is interesting and written in such a format that it makes for easy, sensible, informational reading.  Not a lot of jargon that you need a PhD in order to get anything out of it.”  11-5-03
 
“Very impressive book.  It should be required reading for all nursing students.”  11-5-03
 
“The book is at my hospital and all the nurses are reading it.”  11-4-03

“The book is going down a treat here and a lot of interest in WING USA expressed.”  10-30-03
 
“I am enjoying the book tremendously.  Good work!”  10-28-03
 
“Your book is on our unit.  The nurses are all talking about it.”  10-27-03

"Your book and website have created intense international interest.  Great shame can be placed on the USA government by your international colleagues for its treatment of nurses."  10-26-03
  It is indeed shameful that American nurses have no enforced protection against preventable injuries.  In chapter two, “Magnitude of the Problem,” of Back Injury among Healthcare Workers: Causes, Solutions, and Impacts, Bernice Owen says, “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s general duty clause states clearly that all nursing personnel have the right to a safe and healthy workplace.  According to the statistics previously discussed [in the chapter], however, something is very wrong with the present workplace of nursing professionals.”
 
For a chilling expose´ of healthcare workers going unprotected, read “OSHA Nursing Home Initiative R.I.P.” by Jordan Barab in WING USA’s Implementing Zero Lift Forum at:  http://www.wingusa.org/WINGUSA_Zero_Lift_welc.htm.   

 
It is, also, important to recognize that nurses are not just getting hurt and choosing to leave the profession.  Many nurses, back-disabled by preventable patient handling injuries, are forced out by hospitals which won’t have them back unless they are able to continue heavy lifting. 
Anne, Hudson, RN

“I’m giving the book to the head of our state’s ergo program.”  10-26-03. 
 
“I had tears running down my face reading the stories.  It makes you want to just put the book down and weep, that the injuries are preventable.”  10-26-03
 
“I gave a copy of the book to my attorneys.  They won another injured nurse's case.  I want them in the arena, as attorney advocates for injured nurses.”  10-19-03

“Would love to hear about how your publication has been received in America.  Wouldn't it be great to set up some kind of a world wide affiliation?"  10-18-03 
  The dream of a world wide affiliation is shared by a number of others in several different countries.  WING USA’s Implementing Zero Lift Discussion Forum (http://www.wingusa.org/WINGUSA_Zero_Lift_welc.htm) which recently "went live" is waiting to be "discovered."  It is hoped that the ZL Forum will become an avenue for discussion among those from around the world who are working toward safe patient handling.  Anne, Hudson, RN

“All who have seen the book are excited.”  10-18-03
 
“Thank you for your book – a wonderful addition to the fight against preventable injuries to nurses.”  10-17-03
 
“The book is a big hit!!”  10-16-03
 
“This is a great book!  Good job.  It will help a lot of people.”  10-15-03

“I’ve shown your book to several people.  They all loved it!”  10-10-03
 
“I’m going to use this material with my nursing staff.”  10-10-03
 
“What you need to do now is push the book to the nursing schools, to use it as a textbook.”  10-8-03

“It brings a lot of stuff up that students would never know and wouldn’t know how to handle in situations.  But, if they’ve seen it in the book, they’ll say – I know, we’ll get the equipment.”  10-8-03  
 
“Your book has done a lot of good.  It brings the subject to the forefront in a personal way with the stories.”  10-8-03
 
“Everyone is interested in the book.”  10-8-03
 
“The stories make the book.”  10-7-03

“Thank you for all you’ve put into this book.  I hope it accomplishes all that you intend for it.”  10-3-03
 
“I’m impressed with what you've done.  It is a good work.  There need to be a lot of changes made and this may be a good start.”  10-3-03


“I’ve read a number of the stories.  I hope young people just coming into nursing pick up on it and take heed.  We need nurses but they need to be safe at work.”  10-3-03
  Please read Injured Nurse Story #19 “The Victoria, Australia Story.”  Elizabeth Langford’s report was titled “Buried But Not Dead” “due to how nurses were and are dealt with.  That is:  Use them up, spit them out, bury the problem, and then bring in the next unsuspecting group of people with healthy bodies to start the whole process over again.” 
 
Elizabeth Langford’s research was underpinned by “the fact that nurses’ health and safety are as important as that of their patients and clients.”  National media exposure of “Buried But Not Dead,” and involvement by the Australian Nursing Federation, Victorian Branch, led to the No Lifting policy in place today. 
 
“Buried But Not Dead: A survey of occupational illness and injury incurred by nurses in the Victorian health service industry”: http://www.wingusa.org/buried.htm.
 
“Victorian Nurses Back Injury Prevention Project Evaluation Report 2002”:  www.nursing.vic.gov.au.  Select “Nursing in Victoria - The Nursing Workplace” which goes to the VNBIPP 2002.
Anne, Hudson, RN

“I got your book. It’s quite an accumulation of information and stories.” 10-2-03

“The book is so comprehensive, I can only go through a bit at a time.  It is really great!”  10-1-03

“You're speaking the truth for thousands of back injured nurses to make life better for so many, many people.” 9-29-03

“This text book will be used in universities and health institutions for years to come.  It is quite a ‘ground breaker’.“ 9-25-03

"Great book, very informative, interesting stories from injured nurses.”  9-25-03

“I will definitely use your book in attempts to enforce lift teams in hospitals in my state.”  9-25-03

"Highly recommended to all healthcare givers."  9-25-03

“Received the book today and from my quick look I am impressed.”  9-24-03

“I will share the book with my injured coworkers.  Perhaps we can get some changes in motion with the book backing us up with facts and figures. Thank you so much.”  9-24-03

"Thank you for this work.  You are helping to change healthcare in America."  9-20-03

"What is the best way for the state nursing school council to order copies and make copies available for order for the nursing schools?" 9-20-03
  Thank you so much for your inquiry.  It is critical that the message and practice of safe patient handling begin in nursing schools with the students being taught why and how manual patient lifting is harmful to both nursing staff and patients.  

To order copies of Back Injury among Healthcare Workers: Causes, Solutions, and Impacts:
Contact George Kenney with CRC PRESS:
Phone:   561-998-2544 or 800-272-7737, ext 2544
Fax:        561-998-9784
Email:    gkenney@crcpress.com

Anne, Hudson, RN

“Wow! What a book! You have done an incredible job.” 9-18-03
 
“Well done. I love the way you have combined the individual stories and the well-documented causes and solutions.” 9-18-03

 “Lift equipment does work.  A spine-injured patient who we transferred via the air pal from bed to stretcher and back today was so very positive about it.  Said it didn't hurt like his initial transfer from ER. We felt positive because it didn't hurt us!  Unfortunately, many nurses are still unwilling to spend a few minutes to obtain and set up the equipment.  So sad.” 9-17-03

"I'm beginning the second year of nursing school.  Very little is talked about in regards to back safety in my program.  Maybe getting a copy of the book to nursing faculty will bolster the receptiveness of zero lift."  9-17-03

"Congratulations on seeing your book published.  My body thanks you for your effort and dedication to the subject." 9-17-03

"I have worked under a no lift policy since it has been in place and am very pleased with it.  I really appreciate the regard to safety."  9-17-03

"Will the book be used in nursing schools?  Nursing students need to know what can happen.  Seems like nurses have always been told the patient comes first, no matter what.  And patients do come first but nurses need to know how to take care of themselves, too."  9-12-03
 
"The book is ground-breaking.  I am sure it will be seen as the definitive text book to this point in time."  9-11-03

“That’s an important chapter, about back injuries and the nursing shortage. I tried to ask them at the nursing convention, what are you going to do about the injured nurses, but there was no answer.” 9-8-03 
 

Elizabeth Shogren says it well in Chapter 14:  “The healthcare industry has relied on people to do the work of machines.” And, citing lengthy reports offering nursing recruitment and retention methods by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), she writes, “Even though AONE and JCAHO concluded the recruitment and retention of registered nurses is critical, they do not include strategies to improve workplace safety as a way to retain current staff. This is all the more curious when a common sense approach to combating a resource shortage of any type is to conserve and protect available assets.”
 
Though the evidence has shown for many years that lifting patients is hazardous, and that use of safe, gentle, lift equipment by nursing staff or lift teams prevents injuries, many nurses are still required to manually lift patients, resulting in many needless disabling injuries and loss of valuable healthcare workers. With workers in other industries protected from lifting weights equivalent to that of adult patients, I am increasingly convinced that exploitation of nurses - requiring hazardous lifting and discarding the casualties - is related to nursing being 95% female. What male-dominated professional group would tolerate preventable injuries to inflict irreparable physical harm and destroy their careers?  Yet, this goes largely unchallenged by nursing. 

Back injury may be the single largest, most preventable, and most ignored contributor to the nursing shortage.  Anne, Hudson, RN

"Am very impressed with the book."  9-7-03
 
"I think this book will sell very well at all levels - government, universities, health institutions, etc."   9-7-03
 
“My colleague and I are both very excited by the book.  It is very innovative, especially with the stories from the injured nurses.”  9-7-0

"Very impressive and innovative."  9-6-03

“Quite an extensive examination of the issues. Looks at the experiences of healthcare workers around the world.”  9-3-03

"A great work. Very innovative. I don't know of another study done this way. Do you know of any other study done this way?" 9-3-03
 
There appears to be no other work combining the evidence from an international approach on causes and solutions to back injury from manual patient handling with the profound impacts to healthcare workers suffering preventable disabling injuries. Anne, Hudson, RN

"This book can be used to get the issue looked at - hit the airwaves because the book has all the hallmarks." 9-3-03

"I do not know of another book that has done such an extensive inter-country analysis of their patient handling systems. Well done." 9-1-03

"What an amazing book. Will it be in nursing homes and hospitals? New CNAs and nurses just coming on don't know. They need to be told about the danger with manually lifting patients." 8-25-03
  I'm encouraging nurses to ask their libraries - nursing school library, hospital library, and public library - to purchase the book so it will be available to nurses everywhere.
Anne, Hudson, RN

"The book's incredible! It's important that nurses are able to tell their stories." 8-25-03

"I was glad to read the stories. I mean, I feel bad for them, the injured nurses, but now I know I'm not alone." 8-25-03

"Fabulous book! Contains so much information. Will use as a resource for statistical information." 8-22-03

"The book is magnificent. The nurse stories sure make an impact - they are great." 8-21-03

"The book is really impressive! A magnificent, worthwhile effort." 8-18-03

"Great book for hospitals and nursing schools to purchase!" 8-18-03

"Why didn't some of the nurses sign their names?" 8-18-03

In addition to physical pain, injured nurses often face the emotional pain, and financial hardship, of being rejected by their employer. Some of the nurse story writers are still negotiating with their employers and dealing with workers' compensation issues, making them feel vulnerable to potential retaliation for telling their stories. There were other anonymous story writers who withdrew their stories before publication - even anonymously, they felt threatened by the possibility of their employers discovering their stories. Anne, Hudson, RN

"The book has made me feel empowered---I'm not alone and it's not all in my head!"  8-17-03

"I cried when I read the nurse stories." 8-17-03

"How true that back injury affects your life - from the stuck carts at the grocery store to your bra and shoes." 8-17-03

"Amazing. Should be core curriculum for all nursing schools." 8-16-03

"It's pretty depressing, the injured nurses' stories." 8-15-03

"Couldn't put it down. Thanks so much." 8-15-03

"Why did you include some lift equipment manufacturers and not others?" 8-15-03

The academic authors highlighted equipment with which they were most familiar. There are many companies with excellent lift and transfer equipment. Entering "Who are patient lift equipment companies?" at www.google.com returned 22,100 hits! Anne, Hudson, RN

"It's the most definitive thing I've seen on back injuries in healthcare." 8-5-03


 

This site is under construction. More information will be added soon.
Please contact Anne at anne@wingusa.org with any questions or suggestions you might have