Love your Lifts. Love Yourself. Love your Patients.
In 2013 and 2014, there have been over 340 employee injuries caused by patient handling. These have resulted in over 3,300 days away from work due to injury. In 2014, the average cost of patient handling injuries was over $2,500 per employee.
Using lift equipment and devices can greatly reduce injuries to both staff and patients. See below for how you can show your lifts, yourself, and your patients some love by practicing safe patient handling.
How can you prevent patient handling injuries?
Take a Time Out
- Before moving or repositioning your patient, think about a safe way to perform the appropriate equipment to use.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your manager or others in your department.
Learn to use your Patient Handling Equipment
- Find your manager or others in your department who know how to use this equipment and have them show you.
- Attend safety fairs where lift equipment and vendors are there to provide training.
- The best way to become successful and comfortable with using this equipment is by practicing.
- Learn about the most commonly used lift equipment and devices at Texas Health.
Don’t lift manually, unless absolutely necessary
- Even repositioning average size patients manually can do damage to your body.
- Preplanning is key. For larger and/or fall risk patients, a strategy should be developed with your manager, so your team knows that lift equipment should be ready to use before they are put into their rooms, when possible.
- Know where the lift equipment is and how it should be maintained and charged.
- Know what slings and other accessories each piece of equipment uses and where these are stored.
- Don’t let where it is stored be an excuse for not using it.
Explain the equipment and procedure to the patient
- Explaining what the equipment is and its intended use before bringing it into the room will make patients more comfortable with it.
- Explain the safety benefits for all involved when using the equipment:
- They are less likely to fall.
- The equipment reduces the chance of injuries due to pulling and tugging involved with manual lifting.
- It is easier on their skin.
- It also keeps the staff safe.
Additional Safe Patient Handling Resources
- In 2007, the team at Harris 6 at Texas Health Fort Worth became a “No Lift” unit. Watch this video to learn what a “No Lift” floor is and how you can take these best practices back to your department.
- Find out more about the most common types of safe patient handling equipment and devices that may be available to you.
- Safe Patient Handing- Lift Team Poster
- Don’t Be Superman-Safe Patient Handling Poster