Caregiver Resources

People working in the health care field experience risky situations everyday and face the dangers of musculoskeletal disorders.  In order to prevent injury in the workplace it is important to take necessary precautions. OSHA suggests answering the following questions before trying to lift or readjust a patient.

 

What is the size and weight of the patient?
  • This will determine how many health care professionals are necessary to help in the lift or repositioning, preventing any serious injury to the lifter or the patient.
  • If the patient is larger than one person can handle, it may be possible to use patient handling equipment.

 

Is the patient willing to help and to what degree?
  • This helps determine both the ability and condition of the patient. If he/she is capable of helping less stress is placed on caregiver.

 

Does the patient have any medical conditions to assess before moving?
  • Understanding this could prevent a worsening of their condition.

 

TPatient Handling Ergonomics Resourceshere are ways to lessen the strain on the health caregivers through patient handling ergonomics.

There are alternate methods of patient lifting and repositioning to help with the prevention of many musculoskeletal disorders.

Partially dependent patients that are relatively cooperative can transfer from sitting to standing wearing a belt that is fitted with handles, and with a rocking and pulling motion, is transferred to a standing position.

For repositioning a patient, electric powered height adjustable beds are available to ease the strain incurred by the caregiver. If the patient is able to assist in their repositioning, they may find the trapeze style bar to pull themselves up to change positions. It is also possible to do a lateral transfer or repositioning of a patient using ergonomically inclined tools, such as slide sheets or roller boards. Both of these types of transfer "tools" are used with slippery sheets and low friction mattress covers in order to help with a seamless transfer.