Date on Honors Thesis

Fall 12-8-2021


Exercise Science/ Pre-Health Professional

Examining Committee Member

Amelia Dodd, PT, DPT, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Tonia Mailow, DNP, RN, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Jennifer Rogers, DNP, APRN, Committee Member


Introduction: Nursing is a high-risk occupation for musculoskeletal injuries due to the strenuous activity of patient handling. These tasks include, assisting a patient in bed, moving a patient from the bed to a wheelchair, and assisting with walking. These work-related tasks can create a large amount of stress on the body, especially the back if proper technique is not utilized and/or if excessive loads are applied. The purpose of this study is to examine if teaching proper body mechanics and the dangers of not performing the tasks properly is an effective way of reducing musculoskeletal injuries.

Methods: The NUR 202 students were given a pretest/posttest assessment of knowledge related to the prevalence of low back pain in nurses, basic spinal anatomy, and proper body mechanics with patient handling tasks. The participants then broke out into groups to practice the patient handling techniques and were given feedback by the instructors.

Results: There was a statistically significant increase in the overall score from the pretest to the posttest, 49% to 75%.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance: The study demonstrates that the students’ knowledge of body mechanics and the dangers of not performing the task properly improved. This is important as it relates to the medical community because with the proper interventions there can be a decrease in injuries, a decrease in work absences due to injuries, and a decrease in individuals leaving the profession.