Dialysis technician work can be physically demanding. Your day can involve moving heavy boxes, lifting equipment, or even picking a patient up off the floor. Because of this it is important for a dialysis technician to be aware of their movements and follow guidelines in order to stay healthy and injury free.
The United States Department of Labor states that “lifting heavy items is one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace.” In fact almost 40% of injuries that cause missed work days involve back or shoulder injuries. If you are like most dialysis technicians you can’t afford to lose a single workday to injury. And since it is such a physical occupation a really bad injury could cause you to not be able to perform your duties at all.
But by following a few simple guidelines you can safely do your dialysis technician job no matter how physically demanding it gets. These tips will help you avoid straining your back or shoulders when lifting and carrying heavy objects.
Create A Wide Base
Before lifting make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and that one foot is slightly in front of the other. This is sometimes referred to as the “karate stance” because it has been used by martial artists for a long time as a way of staying stable against opponents.
Bend Your Knees
Do not bend down to pick up the object, squat down by bending at the knees and hips. For added support you can place one knee on the ground to help with your lift.
Aim for good posture as you prepare to lift. Look straight ahead, keep your back straight, chest upright, and shoulders back.
Slow And Steady
Carefully lift by straightening your knees and hips, not your back. Try to keep your back straight and do not twist your torso at all.
Keep It Close
Once standing you’ll want to hold the item as close to your body as possible at about stomach level. This greatly reduces the strain on your lower back.
Turn With Your Feet
As you walk with the object turn with your feet as needed. Do not twist or contort your body. Also take smaller steps than you normally do.
Careful Set Down
Squat slowly by again bending at the knees and hips. Do not use your back and do not attempt to lift heavy objects above shoulder level.
Ask For Help
Bulky, awkward, or very heavy objects are best moved with help. If you feel a load is too heavy for you don’t be afraid to seek help.
Keep these guidelines in mind as you go about doing your daily dialysis technician duties and you’ll have less chance of being injured on the job. It is a a good idea to make these a habit by following these steps for even the lightest object.