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Musculoskeletal Problems Among Midwives Essay

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Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) among midwives have become a significant issue caused by demanding working conditions. It is a professional disease that leads to unfavorable consequences related to females’ well-being and financial sustainability. Examination of contributing factors, such as awkward posture, and understanding of the impact it has on health and the economy can help to develop practical solutions to prevent cases related to the development of MSD among midwives in the future.

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Various determinants present a compelling risk factor for the onset of MSD. One of the main physical risk factors linked to MSD is the awkward position during the mother-centered delivery as the midwife has to adjust to the position of the woman who gives birth (Doshani, 2018). As the midwife may need to spend hours in such a position, it causes a risk of an injury.

Other possible risk factors may lead to MSD development. The study conducted by Bianchi, Belingheri, Nespoli, De Vito, and Riva (2019) presented factors that may cause awkward positions, such as “listening for heart tones, performing vaginal examinations, keeping the fetal head off the cord in cord prolapse, and assisting with epidurals” (par. 3). Such activities cause risk due to the frequency of their performance, which may result in injury. According to Green, Salman, Yentis, and McGregor (2017), the progressive accumulation of muscle fatigue is also known as the risk factor for the development of injury, which can lead to MSD.

MSD develops in the majority of females who perform midwives’ activities. Okuyucu, Hignett, Gyi, and Doshani (2019) “found that of the 633 midwives, 92% suffered from Musculoskeletal disorders, most commonly in the low back (71%), neck (45%) and shoulder (45%).” (p. 2). Statistics give a better understanding of how widespread the disease is among midwives and its distribution over the body. The study informs that the majority of interviewees state that their symptoms are caused by work-related activities. Therefore, the problems have a severe impact on the females’ health, which should be a concern among health care providers.

Midwives may find it complicated to return to work after an injury due to the inconveniences caused by the disease. The study emphasized the long-term consequences the disorder has not only on health but also on relationships, mental health, and career opportunities (Weckert, Stern, & Porritt, 2017).

That is why the scholars conducted a study to examine return-to-work programs as an essential step in the disorder investigation. Such programs may reduce work disability duration and worker’s compensation costs due to the personalized approach (Weckert et al., 2017). Healthcare providers must investigate MSD as they lead to the loss in working time and money spent on injury investigation, which creates economic issues.

Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to the working conditions that can be provided to midwives as it may result in economic and social issues. The issues that they face take roots from their job, so the healthcare providers must address the causes. The understanding of the factors can help to develop a better plan to decrease the percentage of musculoskeletal disorders among midwives.

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Bianchi, T., Belingheri, M., Nespoli, A., De Vito, G., & Riva, M. A. (2019). Occupational risks in midwifery: From Bernardino Ramazzini to modern times. Safety and Health at Work, 10(2), 245-247.

Doshani, A. (2018). Musculoskeletal symptoms in midwives and work-related contributory risk factors. In Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018): Volume III: Musculoskeletal Disorders (Vol. 820, p. 54). New York, NY: Springer.

Green, A., Salman, M., Yentis, S., & McGregor, A. (2017). Ergonomics and posture of midwives, obstetricians and anaesthetists on labour ward. Anaesthesia, 72(S2), 82.

Okuyucu, K., Hignett, S., Gyi, D. E., & Doshani, A. (2019). Human factors in midwifery: Impact of musculoskeletal symptoms on patient safety. Presented at the Healthcare Ergonomics and Patient Safety (HEPS) International Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 3-5 July 2019.

Weckert, C., Stern, C., & Porritt, K. (2017). Experiences and expectations of return-to-work programs for nurses and midwives who have acquired a musculoskeletal disorder in the workplace: A qualitative systemic review protocol. JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, 15(5), 1280-1287.

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