Navigating Nursing Challenges: The Physical Toll of Nursing  

Navigating Nursing Challenges: The Physical Toll of Nursing  

Nursing Challenges: The Physical Toll of Nursing

Nursing is considered a noble and demanding profession requiring emotional resilience and intelligence. However, the physical toll on nurses is often overlooked. According to a recent survey by career resource Zippia, 55% of nurses experience burnout due to physical exhaustion. Such depletion can have far-reaching consequences for both nurses and their patients, as 44% of nurses worry that it negatively impacts patient care.  

Unfortunately, many nurses hesitate to report burnout feelings to their supervisors. Even among those who did, a significant proportion – 44% – received no adequate solutions. To address this growing concern, hospital administrators must develop and implement effective strategies to support nurses.  
The right equipment, such as Capsa’s Mobile Computing Workstations,  Monitor and Tablet Carts, and Medication Carts can significantly reduce the physical burden associated with direct patient care. Read on to learn the primary sources of fatigue for nurses and explore solutions to help them provide high-quality patient care without compromising their well-being. 

Physical Challenges and Constraints in Nursing 

Nurses put significant strain on their bodies, from long walks along hospital floors to moving patients and lifting heavy equipment. These common nursing challenges can have severe physical consequences. Consider these examples. 

Nursing Challenges: Walking Long Distances

Walking Long Distances

In 2022, a study was conducted which found that nurses typically walk more than 9,700 steps during a nine-hour evening shift and over 8,500 steps during a night shift, which translates to more than 4 miles in both cases.

While this is standard for the job, it can cause back, leg, or foot pain, especially for nurses with pre-existing lower-body issues. Research also shows that leg and foot discomfort can increase the likelihood of nurses leaving their job, highlighting the critical need to address this issue.

Heavy Lifting 

Nurses are expected to lift and move patients and equipment, but the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that healthcare workers lift no more than 35 pounds independently. If nurses exceed this limit, they risk serious injuries.  

A 2020 study reveals that transferring and lifting patients can increase the risk of low back pain and injury. Surprisingly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nurses sustain injuries severe enough to miss work at a rate comparable to that of construction workers and manufacturers.  

Bending and Stretching

Nursing Challenges: Bending & Stretching

Nurses are “on their feet all day,” but standing and walking aren’t the only necessities. Nurses frequently must stoop, squat, twist, or bend to care for patients effectively. In a 2018 survey of 200 healthcare workers, more than half reported these movements as common job hazards.

Fortunately, there are ways to address this issue. Ergonomic workstations and tablet carts can significantly reduce the need for nurses to bend and stretch excessively by placing equipment within easier reach. As a result, nurses can conserve their energy and feel less exhausted at the end of their shifts.

Body Posture

Electronic devices have become an essential part of nursing in today’s world. However, almost 56% of nurses experience posture-related issues due to the significant time spent working on electronic devices for paperwork demands. These issues can lead to severe body pain or other health problems, potentially compromising patient care.

To tackle this growing problem, hospitals must prioritize providing ergonomic solutions to protect nurses from postural issues. After all, a 2018 study reveals that nurses spend between 25-41% of their time on documentation, making it crucial to find ways to reduce physical strain. By prioritizing the physical well-being of nurses, hospitals can create a healthier work environment, improve efficiency, and enhance the quality of patient care.

Medical Workstations for Nursing

Streamlining nursing workflows and reducing physical demands are crucial to providing efficient, high-quality patient care. Capsa Healthcare offers a range of solutions, including Mobile Computing Workstations, Monitor and Tablet Carts, Automated Dispensing Cabinets, and Medication Carts that can help achieve these goals. These solutions minimize the need for nurses to make multiple trips to retrieve equipment, reduce physical strain by minimizing bending, stretching, and pushing, and increase efficiency in completing critical tasks.

As healthcare technology advances and facilities increasingly shift towards digital-first operations, Medical Workstations are becoming increasingly important. Consider these four examples, each of which reduces the physical load on nurses and increases workflow efficiency.

Trio Medication Workstation

Ergonomic Nursing Workstation on Wheels

Capsa Healthcare’s Trio Medication Workstation is designed to alleviate physical strain on nursing professionals.

Its ergonomic design and flexible storage options promote ease of use and maneuverability and minimize excessive bending, pulling, and pushing required when maneuvering the workstation. Also, Trio’s GoLiFe power system incorporates safe and proven technology, effectively combining the best of two charging workflow options into one with a choice of stand-alone in-base power in three capacity options or combining the in-base power with the GoLiFe external battery to provide extended runtime.

Patient Observation Cart

Tryten Patient Observation Carts

Built on a Tryten X1 or Tryten S5 Monitor Cart, the Patient Observation Cart allows nurses to remotely monitor multiple patients in different rooms. With audiovisual add-ons, nurses can even communicate with patients from one location without going back and forth to the patient’s room. By reducing the amount of walking and physical strain required to check on patients, Tryten’s Patient Observation Cart helps nurses be less enervated and more efficient.  

NexsysADC - Automated Dispensing Cabinet Reduces Walking

NexsysADC Automated Dispensing Cabinet

Similarly, the NexsysADC Dispensing Cabinet automates dispensing of sensitive and costly medications, eliminating repeated trips to the pharmacy or supply room. It replaces the traditional medication “tackle box” with a more efficient solution.

Additionally, the automated dispensing feature reduces the need for manually counting and sorting doses while integrating billing and patient medication records reduces paperwork. With the NexsysADC Dispensing Cabinet, nurses can focus more on patient care and less on medication management tasks.

Medication Carts

In extended care settings like long-term care, skilled nursing, and assisted living facilities, Capsa’s Vintage Encore, M-Series, and Avalo Medication Carts are designed to assist the nurse’s ability to complete the med pass quickly and efficiently for residents. Capsa’s Medication Carts prioritize safety and well-being while streamlining medication administration. With configurable drawers, helpful accessories, and adjustable EMR computing, these medication carts make everything easily accessible for busy nurses to quickly and efficiently complete resident medication passes.

Solving the Fatigue Problem for Nurses

Nurses are the unsung heroes of healthcare, providing compassionate care to patients in their most vulnerable moments. Unfortunately, the physical toll of nursing can lead to burnout, job dissatisfaction, and even negative impacts on patient care. It’s essential for hospitals to continually invest in their nurses’ physical health and ensure they have the tools and resources they need to provide the best possible care to their patients. Capsa Healthcare’s innovative products effectively reduce the physical strain on nurses and streamline workflows, leading to a more satisfied workforce. By investing in your nurses’ physical health, you’re ultimately improving the quality of patient care and creating a healthier work environment.