Date of Submission
Kay, K. (2015). (Mis)powered practice: A critical investigation of nurses' manual handling experiences in Australia (Doctoral thesis, Australian Catholic University). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.4226/66/5a9cba5eb0b8a
Inherent in the nursing role are manual handling activities required for the provision of patient care. The physical demands upon nurses have resulted in high rates of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) within the profession. Despite the development of programs intended to reduce MSDs, sustainable solutions have remained elusive. Nurses continue to be disproportionately represented in the statistics for injuries arising from manual handling. Over 95% of nurses are likely to incur at least one MSD during their professional lifetime. The scholarly literature provides little evidence of the inclusion of nurses in the manual handling dialogue, despite their intimate knowledge of the healthcare environment. This thesis reports on a study of nurses speaking about their perspectives on current manual handling practices and their experiences of participation in injury prevention programs. The research explored nurses' experiences of manual handling within acute and aged care health facilities in two Australian states, with the intent to make explicit the assumptions underlying contemporary approaches to manual handling issues. The overall aim of this research was to explore nurses' manual handling experiences in the specific context of healthcare organisations. An improved understanding of manual handling from the perspectives of nurses has the potential to explicate aspects of manual handling not previously considered in the development of programs to reduce injuries. The overarching intention of this study was to give nurses the opportunity to verbalise and examine their manual handling experiences and perceptions, with an aim to explore any possible transformative practices.
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Faculty of Health Sciences