Ergonomic nursing workstation design to prevent cumulative trauma disorders
McHugh, Mary L.
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Computers in nursing. 1997 Sep-Oct; 15(5): 245-52; discussion 253-4.
The introduction of computerized nursing information systems offers health care institutions an opportunity to take a new look at safety issues related to nursing workstation design. Industrial studies have investigated the injuries sustained by clerical workers who spend long periods of time at their computers. Cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) are the most common injuries associated with computerized workstation use. They account for nearly 90,000 injuries each year in the United States. Typical CTDs include back pain, strain of the neck, shoulders and eyes, and carpal tunnel syndrome. As the information handling work of nurses is increasingly computerized, the incidence of computer-related injury is expected to increase. Injury rates can be reduced by ergonomic workstation design. An assessment of potential risks associated with the equipment installed should be done as part of workstation design. Risk identification is a prerequisite for avoiding injuries by designing workstations that protect human health. The ergonomic principles learned and tested on office workers are addressed and extrapolated to nursing workstation design. Specific suggestions for design of sitting and standing workstations are presented.
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