An ergonomic height-adjustable measuring table has helped ease the stress and strain on nurses' backs at a Victorian maternal and child health care centre.
The Kingston Maternal and Child Health Centre (MCH), located 15kms from Melbourne's CBD, delivers a free, universally accessible state-wide service for all families with children aged from birth to school age.
The service supports families and their children with an emphasis on parenting, prevention and health promotion, developmental assessment, early detection and referral and social support.
The centre is staffed by registered nurses with midwifery, maternal and child health qualifications.
|Ergomotion's height adjustable examination table is adjusted to suit taller and shorter nurses.|
Static vs adjustable measuring tables
Each consulting room at MCH has a measuring table on which babies are measured and examined.
Most examination tables have an electric back, which whilst being helpful to patients by allowing them to adjust to their level of comfort, it is to the detriment of nurses who are stuck with working at the same height. Moreover these kinds of tables are more prevalent in facilities for adults, rather than children and babies.
Most of the nurses at MCH work part time, so setting the equipment at correct working heights for different nurses on different days was impractical. The static tables meant they were often too high for shorter nurses, and too low for those taller.
During consultation, the nurses' main workstation is the measuring table where around 15 minutes out of every half hour is spent for an average of 12 consultations per day. Such repetitive movement put stress on nurses' backs from having to bend or stretch to examine patients.
MCH recognised the importance of having a workstation that could adapt to a custom safe and comfortable height for each and every nurse.
|A static desk would be too tall for this nurse (left), but the desk has been lowered (right) so she can comfortably measure a child.|
Height-adjustable examination tables
Ergomotion, when consulted, suggested the idea of a custom made electric height-adjustable table. The tables were developed to ensure nurses could easily lower or raise the table, depending on their height. It also meant nurses could adjust the table to aid a child on or off if they needed to.
Nurses at the clinic have offered positive feedback about the installation, saying it has allowed them to adjustable the tables to meet their explicit needs.
|On the other hand, this taller nurse can raise the table to suit her height.|