For more than 11 years, Southern Adventist University has provided nursing students with an injury prevention class—Back Safety and Wellness for the Healthcare Provider—to teach students how to properly transfer patients in and out of bed, to and from the bathroom, and assist if a patient has fallen.
Barbara James, dean of the school of nursing, understands the need for back safety education.
“There are thousands of back injuries reported annually due to improper lifting and transferring techniques,” says James.
According to Nurseweek.com, “One out of 10 serious work-related back injuries involve nursing personnel, and about 12 percent of nurses leave the profession because of back injuries.”
For this reason, James believes training students in back safety is vital for the health of their future careers.
“It’s important that Southern’s School of Nursing provides students with the knowledge and practice to prevent these types of injuries,” says James.
Colleague James Igani, instructor of the class and a 22-year registered physical therapist assistant, designed the curriculum to better the working lives of health care providers.
“I have not seen this type of instruction given anywhere else in the area,” says Igani. “The safety and overall wellness taught to the students is invaluable.”
The class, which is offered at two separate times during the spring and fall semesters, has an enrollment of approximately 170 students each school year.
Kamri Trewitt, ’09, who works as a registered nurse, immensely benefited from the class.
“I use the techniques that I learned in the back safety class all the time at work,” says Trewitt. “Everything I learned has become extremely practical in my career.”
Southern is extending the invitation for nursing students to “watch their back” by offering the class this summer as well.