Risk Management as
Authors: A Strategic Tool in Elderly Care
Abstract: The aim of this two-year intervention study was to provide information on the work-related physical demands and risks among nurses working in elderly 24-hour care units and to determine what kind of measures and management means can reduce physical strain on nurses. A variety of measures were used. This paper presents the key findings of nurses' physical load and risks associated with nursing care (The Care Thermometer method) and perceived workload of nurses (job strain and satisfaction questionnaire).The level of working safety increased from 56% to 71.5%. High-risk tasks have been reduced from 22.5% to 13.9%.There were significant differences (p-value <.001) in perceived stress between physical and psychological stress and by activities (long term care; homes for elderly; service homes) and by professions (nurses; practical nurses; nursing aids; first-line managers). Both physical stress and psychological stress increased, but physical stress increased less than psychological stress. It can be assumed that the interventions in this study had a positive impact on physical stress. Additional tests are needed to explain the differences between physical and psychological stress and the measures and management means that can best reduce physical strain on nurses.
Keywords: elderly care, ergonomics, ergonomic intervention, patient handling, physical stress, psychological stress, risk management, strategic management
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