Monday, October 8, 2012

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s), Healthcare Staff Workplace Injuries (Long-Term Care Research, Video 3:01)

Some people have jobs that seldom require discussions about workplace injuries. The possibility of getting injured is viewed as the potential result of a rare incident not associated with normal job requirements or physical confrontation with other people. A former school principal, I have had my share of incidents breaking up students' fights and calming overly disgruntled parents. Using a planned prevention approach, I was usually successful at avoiding serious injury to myself.

As a hospice volunteer in nursing homes, I noticed early on that schools and nursing homes have a lot in common.  In both locations, the daily risks of workplace injuries due to combative or non-combative reasons were real for many workers. The following is an excerpt from my book Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes that explains shared similarities between schools and nursing homes regarding potential workplace  injuries caused by physical assaults.

“Dementia is like a fluttering bee. I never knew when it would make honey or sting. There were times when patients with dementia were rude or violent. I have seen a patient slap a nursing assistant’s face with such force I thought she would fall over. To her credit, the CNA took a deep breath and walked away while another assistant interceded. The patient  probably forgot the incident soon afterward. During violent situations involving patients with dementia, caregivers had to protect themselves, restrain a patient if they could, but resist expressing rage and fighting back.”

Nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNA’s) have many documented occurrences of non-combative workplace injuries related to their care of patients. In a Colorado workplace injuries study done with 35 individuals from the State Board of Nursing public list of CNA’s, they were surveyed about their work injuries and the circumstances under which the injuries occurred. Almost 46% of the respondents reported having hurt themselves while lifting, moving, or helping a patient, with 40% specifically reporting having incurred a back injury. Eleven of the injured respondents (79%) were working in nursing homes at the time the injury occurred. This indicates a need for more research and education for CNA’s about injury prevention, particularly in nursing home environments. 

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers in America  and other countries and in e-book form at Amazon booksellers.


  1. Hi, your video is so informative about your blog "Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s), Healthcare Staff Workplace Injuries (Long-Term Care Research, Video 3:01)". Nice posting, Thank you so much for sharing it!

  2. I am looking for a copyright privilidge for my PowerPoint presentation on this topic to use the picture by C. Lymn-can anyone guide me to the right direction?