Ergonomics: Subject Content and Methodology
Background. Healthcare professionals often experience work-related musculoskeletal injuries due to improper patient handling methods. It is therefore important to teach students studying in health care study programmes the evidence-based contents and methods. Usually such knowledge is provided in courses of Ergonomics. Different educational institutions have different curricula and it is not clear whether graduates have acquired the adequate knowledge and skills.
The aim – to analyse the content of ergonomics training in different Lithuanian higher education institutions educating health care professionals and to identify differences between institutions.
Methods. Representatives of ten Lithuanian higher education institutions educating physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses completed a survey. The survey was carried out as a part of EU-project Renewing ergonomic education (RENE) for health care students in European HEIs, which involves six partner countries: Spain, Portugal, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia. The project aims to develop an international, evidence-based course on safe patient handling.
Results. It was found that in most (70 %) higher education institutions that train health care professionals, the subject of Ergonomics is taught as an individual course with different credit points ranging from 1 to 5 ECTS, in some institutions (30 %) ergonomics knowledge is integrated into other courses. Subject content and methodology varied between institutions.
Conclusions. Lithuanian higher education institutions educating physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses, the content, methodology and available tools of ergonomics teaching differ. In order for all graduates to have adequate knowledge and skills, the curriculum should be unified.
Keywords: ergonomics, patient care, subject content, methods.
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