Assessment and characterization of WMSDs risk in nurses who perform their activity in surgical hospitalization
Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) are an important problem all over the world, in particular among healthcare workers. The purpose of this study was to identify self-reported musculoskeletal symptoms by nurses that work in surgical services of a hospital unit in the north of Portugal, and to evaluate the risk of developing WMSDs in typical activities of this context. It was used a survey to collect information, which was applied to 146 nurses (84.2% response rate). The results showed a high prevalence of awkward postures and symptoms in different anatomical zones in the last 12 months (88.6%), in particular for lower back region (79.7%), cervical (62.6%) and shoulders (44.7%). The postural analysis technique REBA (Rapid Entire Body Assessment) was used to quantify the WMSDs risk associated with different nursing activities, in real work context. It was observed that the activities which involve moving patients are the ones presenting a higher number of postures with a high or very high risk of developing WMSDs. In this context, everything suggests that high risk postures adopted by nurses may be influenced by the complexity of the working activities involving excessive and repetitive efforts, by the increased pace of work due to excessive activities, lack of work breaks, among others.