University based manual handling and moving training
: how effective is it in assisting student nurses to comply with safe practice?

  • Sue Chambers

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    Purpose of the Study
    To explore whether current approaches to manual handling education at Coventry University adequately prepare student nurses, aged 25 years and under and who have no previous experience of health care, to practice safely in the clinical setting.

    Current legislation, together with professional guidelines no longer supports the routine manual lifting of patients. Heavy manual labour, awkward postures and a previous history of injury are all risk factors in the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Handling and moving incidents account for 40% of all sickness absences in the NHS, the financial cost of which is in the region of £400 million a year (HSE 2004). It has also been identified that some manual lifting techniques can harm patients. Despite the recommendations, anecdotal reports from student nurses, together with recent evidence from the literature indicate that evidence based manual handling is not always implemented in clinical practice.

    Research Design and Findings
    This is an exploratory, phenomenological study conducted within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Coventry University. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather the data from a purposive sample of 11 Adult Branch student nurses. The results highlight how limitations within the educational provision for manual handling, together with inadequate communication of learning outcomes into clinical practice expose this particular group of student nurses to back injury. The findings also indicate the widespread use of bed sheets, together with the ‘drag lift’ for the in lying repositioning of patients.

    Manual handling education should be tailored to meet the specific learning needs of younger, inexperienced student nurses. More opportunities for practice are required during training sessions, together with more systematic follow up during clinical placements. The development of online learning, together with audio visual resources is advocated to promote flexible learning and to enhance skills laboratory training.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorMargaret Goodman (Supervisor)

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