Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)




Nurses have one of the highest work-related musculoskeletal injury rates of any profession. Much research has been done to define the high-risk nature of patient handling and further to describe the necessary components of a Safe Patient Handling (SPH) program. Despite the evidence and the purchase of equipment, overall musculoskeletal injury rates remain high among nurses and nursing assistants in the United States. New strategies are needed to incorporate safe patient handling into everyday practices of healthcare providers to create a culture of safety. The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a SPH unit-based coaching metaphor and process in a Midwestern Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center. The project is founded on King's Theory of Goal Attainment including the concepts of perception, mutuality, empowerment, and change. Unit-based coaching is a process used to facilitate an interaction between the SPH Coordinator, the SPH Unit Peer Leaders (UPLs), and managers of the unit who establish mutually agreeable goals and empower the UPL to attainment these goals. The success of the project will be determined using current measurements used to determine the success of a SPH Program such as injury data and equipment usage data, along with surveys to measure the level of perceived safety culture, as well as tracking goal attainment rates.


SC 11.MAN.2013.Kirchner.N