Participatory action oriented training for hospital nurses (PAOTHN) program to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to construct and test the feasibility and potential utility of a Participatory Action Oriented Training for Hospital Nurses (PAOTHN) program to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The PAOTHN program emphasized the active participation of nurses, resulting in practical and low-cost solutions for improving their work environment by reducing risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders. METHODS: The PAOTHN program was conducted in a hospital located in a suburb of Seoul, South Korea. Of the 24 units in the hospital, 16 units participated in the study. The main components of the intervention were a series of structured workshops, continuous technical assistance by the research team, and periodical forums for sharing "best practices" among the participants. RESULTS: Through the workshops, head nurses of the participating units identified a total of 46 strategic (23 short-term and 23 long-term) plans for reducing musculoskeletal disorders risks across five dimensions: (1) patient care and treatment, (2) safe handling of drugs, medical devices, and equipment, (3) workstation design, (4) physical environment, and (5) welfare facilities and administration. Over the course of the year-long project, 18 of the suggested plans were completed, for an overall completion rate of 39.1%. CONCLUSIONS: The PAOTHN program was found to be feasible and potentially useful in reducing the musculoskeletal disorder risks faced by hospital nurses, and in identifying both risk factors and improvement opportunities at the individual and organizational levels. (+info)