Nursing Success Institute Launches First Workshop on March 23 & 24, 2013

The Nursing Success Institute (NSI) is proud to launch our first workshop in Phoenix.  FDI Planning and Consultants, Inc., is our proud sponsor for the event.  All proceeds will be donated to the American Association for Safe Patient Handling and Movement (AASPHM). This organization will be funding research to assist with protecting nurses from back injuries. To view our sponsors, please visit: To register for the class, click here:  Workshop Registration

The Physical Burdens of Nursing

I was in the hospital last week, and a nurse made the following comment to me:  "I was working with a female patient that was 81 years old.  This patient was not very big, in fact, she was only about 100lbs.  We needed to transfer her from her bed to a transport stretcher.  Since there wasn't any help around, and she only weighed 100lbs, I decided to do it myself." My response was, "Your field of nursing, is the ONLY field I know of where 100lbs is considered 'light' or 'easy to handle'.  In every other profession, that is considered a lot of weight, and a risk for injury.  Here are some examples: If I check my bag at the airport, and it weighs over 50lbs, several things happen in the process.  First, I pay an extra handling fee for the luggage.  The bag is then clearly marked with a tag that reads 'Heavy' and that also clearly shows how much the bag weighs.  During handling, either two people are required, or assistive lifting device must be used. And this scenario is for EVERYTHING over 50lbs.  Not so in the field of nursing!  A patient weighing 55lbs would be readily handled manually by many! I also thought of if you go to buy things like dog food at the store.  Those 50lb dog food bags often weigh A LOT!  No one would dispute that caution should be employed when handling those types of things.  Especially, if your job was to do the tasks all day long. In the field of nursing, a paradigm shift is needed to enlighten people to the myriad of physical challenges that nurses experience on the job. In 1960, the average man weighed 166lbs.  Fast forward to 2011, and the average man is now weighing 196lbs.  That is an increase of 30lbs!  Next time you are at the gym, notice what a 30lb dumbbell weighs.  That is a staggering amount of extra weight that nurses are working with, and this is just a statistical average.  It is common knowledge in the nursing field that the average weight for patients in the healthcare environment is almost always that above statistical averages. Today, we met with Dr. Bill Marras from Ohio State University.  Dr. Marras does a tremendous amount of research related to the impact on the spine for patient handling tasks.  This research has enlightened many in the profession to the significant risks of manual patient handling tasks. This research demonstrates that the physical health of these individuals must be protected.  Before any change can happen in our healthcare system, we must first illuminate the problem through awareness. So, for all those nurses that operate under the paradigm of seeing those 100lb patients as acceptable risks to take for patient handling tasks, the time to change that is now!  It's important to protect the health of your spine.  Degeneration of your spine is something that cannot be undone.  Beyond that, spinal surgery is still one of the least effective surgical procedures to have done. Please pass this along, as this is important for all of our nurses to hear.

Safe Patient Handling – Hall of Fame

I had the GREAT opportunity to be a presenter at the recent Arizona Safe Patient Handling & Movement show.  It was sponsored by Banner Health and Ashton Tiffany.  My speech was focused on the 'Value of the Nurse' in Healthcare.  Oftentimes, the nurse is not given their due recognition for ALL that they do.  The goal was to raise awareness of HOW valuable our nurses are. While at the show, it was clear that the show was missing one of the strongest proponents of nurses, and protecting nurses from injury while performing different pieces of their work.  That person is Lavina Taylor, from St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson.  Lavina is one of the most passionate and knowledgeable people in the realm of Safe Patient Handling.  She is a passionate advocate of nurses, and is always challenging the industry on doing more to protect nurses. She now occupies a different role at St. Mary's, and hopefully she returns to the industry that she helped to ignite here in the State of Arizona.  If you ever want to see what a PHENOMENAL SPH Program looks like, I can whole-heartedly say that St. Mary's was a TOP TIERED facility.  The work that she did there to change the culture, reduce injuries and protect our nurses is of a WORLD CLASS standard. I have visited hundreds of hospitals around the country, and St. Mary's was always one of the best.  Lavina, I am honored to have worked alongside of you, and you are missed in the SPH World.  Our group of speakers this year honored the work that you have done, not only at St. Mary's, but for our entire industry.  We miss you, and please come back! Michael