Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Handley, R. 2023. Musculoskeletal Back Injuries Among Allied Health Professionals: A Survey. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Robyn Handley 2023.


RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), nursing aides (can also be identified as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), or patient care technicians (PCTs)) are consistently tasked with manually repositioning patients for a variety of reasons. These tasks are relatively simple maneuvers, however, they cause an extremely high number of musculoskeletal back injuries in health professionals, with the rates of injuries being higher than almost all other occupations (Wiggerman et al., 2021). A survey was sent out to approximately 70 employees at a local area hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska that asked about respondent demographics, back injury history, and confidence in performing common maneuvers correctly. This survey found a 75% prevalence rate of back injuries, and no significant difference between knowledge and confidence in performing patient maneuvers with log rolling patients, the use of lift sheets, and proper body mechanics. There were significant differences found between respondents’ confidence and proper use of overhead lifts and gait belts. It is assumed that more education is not needed on how to properly use these devices or how to transfer patients, but it is recommended that repositioning and transfer devices are used more frequently in practice, specifically overhead lifts, and gait belts.