b. Avoiding Injury to Oneself. Patients are not the only ones who incur injury
in the radiology department technologists also suffer injury themselves, especially
through abuse of the spine. You are most likely to do this while lifting or moving a
patient. Have you ever tried to lift a 350-pound patient? You may suffer injury if you fail
to apply the principles of good body mechanics in performing tasks that require
stooping, lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying. The injury will not only cause you
discomfort, but it will cause you to function at a reduced level of efficiency. This will
place a greater burden on your colleagues or even result in injury to the patient.
c. The Importance of Good Body Mechanics. For the reasons stated above,
you must know and apply the principles of good body mechanics, which include proper
body alignment, proper movement, and proper use of balance. Doing so will help
minimize patient injury and costly litigation that may result, as well as injury to yourself.
This lesson outlines key concepts of body mechanics and patient handling.
Body mechanics is the safe and efficient use of the body in movement.
a. Lining Up the Major Body Parts. Correct body alignment is essential to the
safe and efficient use of good body mechanics. As the term suggests, good alignment
means lining up the major body segments (pelvis, thorax, and head) in proper
relationship to one another. When body segments are properly lined up, it becomes
easier to maintain body balance (see figure 1-1). With good balance, the body is stable,
and steady. Thus, you are less likely to tip over or fall.
Body alignment is the lining up the pelvis, thorax, and head in proper
relationship to each other so as to maintain body balance.
Figure 1-1. (a) Good alignment-pelvis, thorax, and head lined up in proper relationship
to each other.
(b) Poor body alignment.