“latera thema“ from wissner-bosserhoff
The nursing home bed for healthy nursing staff
The development and use of nursing home beds was, and still is, aimed primarily at the comfort of nursing home residents. With the issue of lateralisation that has been addressed for some time by Wissner-Bosserhoff, the focus has moved to nursing staff. And with good reason: 94 percent of nursing staff suffer from back pain. 60 percent declare that they lift up patients during mobilisation. During routine nursing activities, they carry out heavy-duty work, such as changing bed sheets, changing the patients’ clothes and washing them, as well as patient mobilisation. As a consequence, there are increased incidences of sick leave. The fact that this does not have to be the case is proved by Wissner-Bosserhoff with the nursing home bed “latera thema”.
The nursing home bed “latera thema”, with lateral tilting, provides support in nursing care to both patients and nursing staff. Furthermore, it proves to offer significant health protection to nursing staff. The evidence is quickly gathered: If you lift 20 kg in a bent-over position, you run a high risk of putting a strain on the intervertebral discs of eight times the weight. Health complaints involving the lower back, as well as the neck and shoulders area are thus one of the most frequent causes of illness in the nursing professions. The average length of illness in the treatment of these symptoms lies at 19.2 days. The sick leave that can be apportioned to work-related musculo-skeletal disorders was approx. 608 days per 100 insured persons, even back in 2003.
In reality, nursing work requires bending the upper body hundreds of times each day. The activities of “making beds”, “washing and basic care”, “mobilisation” and “handling materials of the bedside cabinet and wardrobe” exert very high pressure on the vertebra. This is an everyday situation, which is heightened when, especially at times of reduced staffing levels such as at night or weekends, one nurse has to perform nursing activities alone. A significant relief is provided by lateralisation, however.
The nursing home bed “latera thema” proves to offer significant health protection to nursing staff. With a conventional bed, in general two nurses need to work together. One person turns the patient onto his side and stabilises him while the other changes the sheets at the other side of the bed. Lateralisation, on the other hand, creates a situation where only one nurse is needed to change the bed sheets. A third less physical effort is then required to turn over the patient. But changing bed linen is not the only thing in favour of lateralisation. It provides noticeable relief when rebedding patients every two to three hours for bedsore prevention, in hygiene and skin care, and in changing geriatric diapers.
Back disorders in particular can be considerably reduced by the use of lateral tilting, since mobilisation procedures are controlled actively by nursing staff, but are not done actively or with any use of force. A study performed in October 2007 shows that 68 percent of nurses questioned saw a significant reduction in physical strain through the use of lateral tilting; 32 percent detected a moderate reduction.
A foreseeable drop in the number of days of sick leave through these findings creates additional benefits through costs savings for nursing home operators, as well as greater satisfaction among nursing staff. A further economic factor is gained in time-savings. Lateralisation reduces not only the use of force by the nurse of some 30 percent, but also reduces time spent in changing bed sheets by some 15 to 20 percent. In addition, even the rebedding of heavy and immobile residents can be performed by just one nurse instead of two, due to lateralisation. This time-saving can on the one hand be measurably calculated as an economic factor, or on the other be used for a more frequent rebedding of patients as a bedsore prevention.
Since about a third of all days of sick leave for nursing staff are the result of musculo-skeletal disorders, the reduction of disorders by only three percent represents a volume of savings in which the extra procurement costs for the “latera thema” bed are covered within six months.
The nursing home bed “latera thema” provides all the technical components which contribute to an uninterrupted, ergonomic sequence of work processes. For the patient, lateralisation reduces stress factors, increases independence and supports mobilisation. In short: The “latera thema” bed creates a higher employee and resident satisfaction, reduces the level of motivation related sick leaves and provides better working conditions for nursing staff, which all have an effect on operating results.