Safe Patient Handling and Mobility

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Injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are common in nurses and are often caused by manually lifting and moving patients. This is more than just an inconvenience; these injuries are often life altering and career ending. The American Nurses Association (ANA) works to prevent injuries and protect nurses and other healthcare workers through Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) programs and advocacy.

Official Position
In order to establish a safe environment for nurses and patients, ANA supports actions and policies that result in the elimination of manual patient handling.

National Interdisciplinary SPHM Standards – Now Available
ANA, in collaboration with a national working group, developed national interdisciplinary SPHM standards to help hospitals and other health care employers develop safe, effective, and enduring programs. The standards are applicable across the care continuum.

To order, go to Bulk discounts are available. Learn more about the Standards here.

Endorse the SPHM Standards here.

Implementation Guide to SPHM Standards - This brand new implementation guide works hand in glove with the Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Interprofessional Standards to streamline SPHM program success. The Implementation Guide gives step-by-step ways to implement each of the eight overarching SPHM Standards, and includes:

  • A snapshot introduction that frames today’s practice context and SPHM experiences.
  • Numerous detailed ideas and insights for employers and healthcare workers.
  • Extensive resources and readings in the latest research, techniques, and methodologies.
  • Setting-specific examples of how the Standard can address issues and challenges
To order, go to

Visit our SPHM State Legislative Agenda page for information about the eleven states with enacted SPHM laws or promulgated rules/regulations.

U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) has introduced a bill, the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 2480) that would set a safe patient handling, mobility, and injury prevention standard eliminating manual patient handling and requiring health care employers to develop a safe patient handling and mobility program. Read the press release.

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