Risk for Injury in Labor and Delivery Nursing

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Nursing Education Program Risk for Injury in Labor & Delivery Nursing Whether we are the ones to receive the care or vice versa we tend to not consider labor and delivery nursing as a harmful profession, but there is copious amounts of evidence that determine nurses who are in labor and delivery are in a profession that put them at highest risk for musculoskeletal disorders. Introduction Evidence-based practice dates back to the 1800s when Florence Nightingale made not only an incredible name for herself, but changed nursing care entirely.

She was able to look at patient outcomes from the environments they subsided in to allegedly heal and realized if evidence were the basis of their care the outcomes could be tremendously changed for the better.

The term, evidence-based practice was unknown then, but Nightingale was using evidence that had been determined through experimentation and critical examination to positively influence patient outcome (Mackey, 2017). From then on, those who were practicing in medicine used concepts from Florence Nightingale as their foundations when performing patient care.

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The conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients (Mackey, 2017). This is the definition that describes evidence based practice that was created by David Sackett in the early 1990s. The creation of this definition held health care providers to another level by encouraging critical thinking when it came to providing care and allowing patient-centered care. The concept has also made its way into undergraduate and graduate nursing programs across the country.

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The objective to integrate evidence based practice into a program with individuals learning to become the most proficient in this profession is extremely important. Not only is the most current education important for the growing nursing student, but where it all started and came from is an important part in shaping a well-rounded nurse. Main Topic There is an abundance of research behind the implementation of safer practices designed to prevent musculoskeletal injury in nurses. However, many of these practices are specific to long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and acute care units where nurses are often required to transfer, rotate, or position patients – all of which can cause strain on the musculoskeletal system and lead to injury. Nurses who practice in these settings are frequently reminded how to use good body mechanics in order to prevent personal injury. Yet, there is significantly less consideration about proper body mechanics across other fields of nursing such as labor and delivery. The fast-paced nature of the nursing care required in taking care of a laboring patient often causes nurses to overlook the importance correct body posture to prevent injury to their bodies (Stichler, Feiler, & Chase, 2012).

The nurse compromises her posture in order to complete necessary patient care tasks and orders given by the physician during the labor process. It requires a significant amount of exertion by the nurse to reposition epiduralized patients in bed, hold patients legs during delivery, change bed linens in an occupied bed, assist patients with limited mobility to the bathroom, and transport pregnant patients who have an increased body weight (Stichler et al., 2012). In urgent and emergent situations, such as umbilical cord prolapse, the nurse is sometimes required to intervene in a way that forces him or her into an awkward position thus putting strain on the neck, shoulders, or back. Seemingly every day tasks such as locating fetal heart tones with an external monitor are often done hunched over at the waist or straining the neck in order to maximize patient comfort. However, when done throughout the nurse’s entire career, these tasks can have serious permanent complications in the form of musculoskeletal injuries that cause chronic pain. A study examined the culture of safety on labor and delivery units and found that generally the employees deliver care under the idea that they will protect the patient and the newborn baby at all costs, essentially.

Therefore, it is easy to forget safety is a priority for the nurses as well as their patients when a situation becomes critical or emergent (Stichler et al., 2012). A nurse who sustains an injury may endure acute and chronic pain, temporary or permanent disability, loss of income, loss of mobility, emotional stress, job dissatisfaction, and decreased quality of life (Harolds, L., & Hurst, H. 2016). Without taking precautions when it comes to body mechanics and caring for patients it can lead to lifelong ailments that prevent the nurse to continue the career choice she once chose because she wanted to care for those in need. For a nurse to put his or her patient and their needs first before their own proves the passion they have for their job and speaks volumes – but for one to continue such care their own safety needs to come first. If unable to perform the tasks that are required of a nurse due to an injury; they are not performing at their greatest potential jeopardizing the patient’s ultimate care. This thinking is a shift from the “patient first” (at all costs) mantra that is also a critical element of quality care, but employee safety and patient care can coexist as priority one strategies (Stichler, J. F., 2012). Individual Practice As far as implementing evidence-based practice into a career it is something I will take seriously when practicing as a nurse.

The way I will care for my patients will always route back to evidence-based practice. It is the most reliable source to this day that many confidently confide in with planning care for their patients and creating positive outcomes. Reminding myself daily why I went into this profession– to take care of those in need. I will always put my patients first and advocate for them. Why? Because they are putting their trust in me, and I am not caring for them to ever feel like they are simply another number. If something does not seem right, generally, it is not. To acknowledge that sense and ask questions, for example: to confirm an order that was put in, a medication that was ordered, or perhaps a dosage of a medication, and even so if my patient is experiencing symptoms that need to be addressed to continue to speak up for them. My goal is to know I always did my absolute best, so when I leave at the end of my shift I can be confident in my actions for that day and no doubts in my mind. Secondly, being aware of my body mechanics. I chose this career path to be able to tend to those in need of care at vulnerable times in their life.

To properly perform the duties my job entails I need to focus on the movements I make throughout the day to determine the severity of the constant repetition. Using proper body mechanics will allow me to continue in this profession and fulfilling my achievements as a nurse for many years. Conclusion Being a labor and delivery nurse can be immensely demanding, although highly rewarding at times– as well. Body mechanics are so important even in the times when you could not possibly think of how your potentially life saving actions or movements could be in the long run deteriorating yourself. Considering, labor and delivery is in fact In order for musculoskeletal injuries to decrease in labor and delivery nurses the proper


  1. Harolds, L., & Hurst, H. (2016). Preventing workplace injuries among perinatal nurses. Nursing for Women’s Health, 20(1), 99-108. doi:10.1016/j.nwh.2015.12.003 Mackey, A., & Bassendowski, S. (2017).
  2. The history of evidence-based practice in nursing education and practice. Journal of Professional Nursing, 33(1), 51-55. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2016.05.009
  3. Stichler, J. F., Feiler, J. L., & Chase, K. (2012). Understanding Risks of Workplace Injury in Labor and Delivery. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 41(1), 71-81.
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Risk for Injury in Labor and Delivery Nursing. (2022, May 30). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/risk-for-injury-in-labor-and-delivery-nursing-essay

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