Working in health care is often hard on your health. If you make your living as a nurse, nursing assistant, hospital porter or something similar, you may have firsthand knowledge of the aches, pains and other ailments that often accompany your line or work. Spending the majority of your time around sick people presents obvious health risks. However, one of the most significant hazards you may face working in health care comes not from working in a germ-filled environment, but rather, from repeatedly having to move patients with minimal or no mobility.

According to Healthcare Business & Technology, lifting-related injuries caused by moving heavy patients are a serious threat to today’s nurses and other health care professionals. In fact, today’s nurses face a more elevated injury risk than professionals in many other fields where workers regularly perform physical labor, making them more likely to suffer injuries than even construction and factory workers.

Furthermore, many of the lifting-related injuries modern nurses experience end up proving so severe that they keep the nurses out of work. Current estimates suggest that nurses experience more than 35,000 back and musculoskeletal injuries severe enough to keep them out of the workplace every year.

While these numbers are troubling, there are some things you may be able to do to minimize your chances of a serious lifting-related injury. When possible, team lifting, or having multiple health care professionals lift a patient at the same time, may help reduce the strain on your back and neck. However, team lifting is not always possible in busy hospitals and similar health care environments. Lift-assistance equipment may also take away some of the strain, but not all health care organizations are able to afford it. Find more about injuries experienced by health care workers on our webpage.