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Safe Patient Handling for Nursing Assistants

presented by Michael Fragala & Guy Fragala

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Direct care providers are required to help patients and residents with movement and mobility. Oftentimes, these tasks are beyond the physical capabilities of healthcare workers, resulting in risk of injury to healthcare workers and patients alike. Throughout this course, participants will explore the risks associated with manual patient handling as well as strategies and technologies available to promote safe patient handling. This course also includes a discussion of the role of the nursing assistant in promoting a culture of safety.

Meet Your Instructors

  • Michael Fragala, PhD, MBA, RN, WCC, CSPHP, AMS

    Michael Fragala has worked in the healthcare business operations arena for the majority of his career and has served as a Regional Clinical Director, primarily responsible for clinical operations and strategic planning, within national post-acute accounts. Presently Mr. Fragala is employed by Joerns Healthcare overseeing clinical initiatives within national accounts. He has also spent time as a registered nurse, working within both acute and post-acute settings. Mr. Fragala has been serving as an adjunct faculty member at NEC since 2011 and has facilitated many NEC courses, both in the classroom and online. He has taught Strategic Planning and policy, IT Intelligence and business strategy, Organizational Leadership in Technology, and Professional and Organizational ethics, as well as Comparative Health Systems.

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  • Guy Fragala, PhD, PE, CSP, CSPHP

    Dr. Fragala has more than 45 years of experience as an Occupational Safety and Health professional and is currently the Senior Advisor for Ergonomics at the Patient Safety Center of Inquiry in Tampa, Florida. He recently served as Champion for the Creating the Safer Environment Program for Joerns Healthcare and Director of Compliance Programs with Environmental Health and Engineering in Newton, Massachusetts. He is retired from the Faculty and his previous position as the Director of Environmental Health and Safety for the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Dr. Fragala is a national expert in the application of ergonomics to the health care setting. He has served as an advisor to OSHA regarding the development of the Proposed Ergonomics Standard and was asked to present with the Secretary of Labor at a national press conference when the proposed Standard was released. Dr. Fragala also has experience as a member of the DuPont Corporation’s Corporate Environmental Health and Safety staff and as a Safety Engineer with an international insurance carrier. He has been an advisor to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and has helped develop and deliver some of their educational offerings. He has been a consultant to a wide range of American industries including many health care organizations, including the Department of Veteran Affairs on the topics of injury prevention and ergonomics. He has served on the faculty of a number of academic institutions, including Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Southern California, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Why is Safe Patient Handling Important

    1. Why is Safe Patient Handling Important

    Occupational risk factors of patient handling and mobility include exertion, repetition, posture and duration of exposure. These activities can pose significant risk to direct care workers as well as their patients. This chapter explores the magnitude of the occupational injury problem, including both direct and indirect costs related to injuries that result from manual patient handling.

  2. Understanding Risk Factors and Reducing the Impact of These Risk Factors

    2. Understanding Risk Factors and Reducing the Impact of These Risk Factors

    Ergonomics and body mechanics play an important role in safe patient handling. This chapter explains what safe patient handling is and why it is important. The importance of staffing, programs and equipment will also be addressed.

  3. What is Safe Patient Handling and Mobility and Why is it Important to You in Your Job?

    3. What is Safe Patient Handling and Mobility and Why is it Important to You in Your Job?

    Understanding the role of nursing assistants in identifying risk factors for occupational injury is essential to promoting a culture of safety. This chapter will explore the various activities that put direct care workers and patients at increased risk of injury, including exertion, repetition, posture, duration of exposure and other aspects of direct care workers’ daily routines.

  4. Interview With Caregiver

    4. Interview With Caregiver

    Through a discussion with a nurse, this chapter will explore how direct care staff feel at the end of their day, what types of activities they see as potential risks and what they have done to offset these risks.

  5. Available Technology and Solutions

    5. Available Technology and Solutions

    How do you use technology and assistive devices to reduce risk? This chapter explores the different options available to you and how to best utilize what’s available in your facility. This chapter also includes a discussion on when to use assistive devices, including information on beds, lateral transfers, active transfers, passive transfers, falls and DME.

  6. What is a “Culture of Safety” and What is Your Role in Promoting a Safety Culture and How We Develop Support Within Our Facility

    6. What is a “Culture of Safety” and What is Your Role in Promoting a Safety Culture and How We Develop Support Within Our Facility

    Direct care workers play an important role in creating a culture of safety. This chapter includes a discussion on the role of the nursing assistant in developing a culture of safety, as well as how statistics can be a powerful tool to gain buy in from decision makers and improve the safety and quality of patient care. In addition, this chapter includes a discussion on how to best utilize contracted vendors to support your facility’s change initiatives.