Nurses Prone to Injuries With Heavier Patients

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"The problem is our population is getting bigger and bigger and bigger," said Amour, who has been a nurse 25 years.

Instead, Amour -- at 5 feet 2 and 120 pounds -- said she has struggled to move 400-pound patients, many of whom are sick and confused, rendering them unable to hold themselves up or take directions.

"When you weigh that much and you're trying to move somebody, it's really hard," said Pierce, who weighed between 110 and 140 pounds over her nursing career.

But it's not just about overweight patients, the nurses said. Amour said she dislocated her neck when a patient thought he was going to fall and grabbed her neck -- a common injury among nurses. It's one of many injuries she's received during her 25 years on the job.

"It's risky," Amour said, adding that lifting patients can be like rescuing someone from drowning. "You try to save the swimmer's life, but you can sometimes drown with them."

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