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Weinheim, July 2017 – For years now, Germany – like many other European countries – has seen massive problems in filling new vacancies in the field of surgical nursing. In addition, many surgical nurses are unhappy with their workplaces. As seen in the ‘Surgery Barometer 2015’ from the Centre for Health Management and Law (ZGWR) and the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (FRA UAS)* , job satisfaction in this field sank from 71 per cent in 2011 to 66 per cent in 2015. In light of the fact that 61 per cent of those surveyed complained of a very high illness rate within their own professional group, a health-promoting work environ-ment is becoming an increasingly decisive factor for hospitals competing to recruit qualified employees. An ergonomically designed workplace makes a significant contribution to work satisfaction.
The long periods spent standing in surgery can lead to considerable tension being placed on muscles and to degenerative changes in the spinal discs and small vertebral joints. How com-fortably a surgical professional can stand depends, to a significant extent, on the properties of the floor covering: a harder surface wears out the body much more easily than a more flexi-ble and elastic one. Thanks to their long-lasting elasticity, coverings made from rubber (as nora systems offers) make standing for hours on end easier for doctors and surgical staff – the burden on the back and joints is tangibly reduced. Furthermore, nora floor coverings also offer major advantages when it comes to hygiene. It was for these reasons, too, that decision-makers at the German hospitals Klinikum Crailsheim, Asklepios Klinik Nord (Hamburg) and Marien-Hospital (Marl), as well as at the Dutch hospital Universitair Medisch Centrum (UMC) in Utrecht, chose the ‘Made in Germany’ floor coverings for their new buildings or operating theatre renovations.
Marion Makowe, head of surgery at the Asklepios Klinik Nord in Hamburg, has also con-firmed the positive effects of rubber floors on the back and joints: ‘It’s gentle and comfortable to walk and stand on the floor coverings.’ Since the rooms were fitted with nora coverings during a renovation, surgery staff are no longer asking for the rubber standing mats they used to use. The head of surgery at the Marien-Hospital in Marl says the same thing: ‘Thanks to the elasticity of the norament 928 grano rubber floor, surgeons and surgical staff have been much more comfortable when standing – it takes the strain off the back and muscles.’ When the new surgical centre was built at the UMC Utrecht, which opened for operations in 2016, 21 theatres were fitted with nora floors from the start. The noraplan sentica ed laid there not only improves the ergonomics of the theatres but at the same time supports good air quality within the rooms. Like all nora rubber floors, it is free from plasticizers (phthalates), as well as chloro-organic compounds, and is therefore certified with the ‘Blue Angel’ and all other inter-nationally significant environmental certificates, e.g. the ‘Indoor Air Comfort Gold’ label.
When dealing with surgical theatre floors, resistance to disinfectants and other chemicals is extremely important. ‘When looked at under the microscope, the nora natural rubber floors used in hospitals have the smoothest and most dense surfaces,’ explains Thomas Schaff, state-accredited expert in hospital hygiene, who is responsible for the hospitals in Crailsheim and Schwäbisch-Hall and is familiar with rubber floor coverings from decades of experience. ‘This means that residue from disinfectants can be easily removed even hours after an opera-tion,’ the hygiene expert says. The entire surface area of the natural rubber floor covering can also be easily disinfected. ‘nora rubber floor coverings are absolutely the best-quality floor-ings, in my view,’ Schaff summarises.
Thanks to their leakproof nature and sealed surface made from rubber, nora floors can be permanently maintained without any coating. This has the advantage that there is no need to reapply floor coatings as with other covering types, meaning that the operating theatres can be available for use round the clock. ‘For hospitals, it is of utmost importance that operating theatres are always available,’ emphasises surgery manager Hans-Peter Lehnen, who is re-sponsible for capacity planning, controlling and construction management, amongst other things, at the Asklepios Klinik Nord. ‘The floor is the critical element in a lot of construction projects. That’s why we always strive to use high-quality, resistant products that will not cause any problems.’
The electrostatic dissipative coverings from nora systems, which have been established as reliable for use in operating theatres, are available in different versions, colours and designs. norament grano ed, noraplan sentica and noraplan signa are used particularly frequently.*
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About nora systemsnora systems develops, produces and markets high-quality, elastic floor coverings as well as shoe components under the nora® brand. The company, which has its headquarters in the German town of Weinheim, was created from Freudenberg Bausysteme KG in 2007 and, as the global market leader, has shaped the development of rubber floor coverings for many years. With its more than 1,000 employees, nora systems generated a turnover of €229.1 million in 2017. In 2018, nora systems was acquired by Interface Inc., Atlanta (USA). Interface is the world's largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles for the commercial sector.