Safe Patient Handling – Providing The Best Care
What Is Patient Handling?
Those working in a care environment; or even caring for a family member at home; need to know how to handle their patients in a safe and secure manner. Patient handling is literally the method by which you help the person in your care from A to B and a range of patient handling equipment is available.
Those working in care homes and medical establishments especially need to be careful when it comes to patient handling; and to ensure that best practices are followed and appropriate equipment is used, in order to prevent the carer being sued by a disgruntled family member due to perceived maltreatment
What Does Patient Handling Involve?
Patient handling is a difficult subject to approach, as not only do staff have to safely deal with those that they are caring for, but they also have to do it in a way in which they are safe from injury too, after all a patient is a person; and people can be heavy; therefore the utmost care is required.
Patient handling can involve a lot of aspects; from helping someone out of bed; helping them bathe and a whole host of other tasks involve you to manoeuvre and handle patients in one way or another. As time has gone on a lot of patient handling equipment has become available, in order to ease some of the strain, both physically and mentally in those who need to move someone in their care safely.
What Patient Handling Equipment Is Available?
There is a vast selection of patient handling equipment on the market; including the following, which when used correctly will make care professionals jobs much easier:
– Patient Hoists – these are patient lifting devices that allow care professionals to move their patients – suited to care homes and hospitals to help transfer someone from a bed to a chair and vice versa
– Patient Slings – there are a range of uses for patient slings, from toileting slings which help with assisting toilet trips, to emergency floor lift slings, designed to help get patients up should any falls occur
– Bath Lifts – as the name suggests, these are specialist pieces of equipment that allow the easy transfer of someone in your care in and out of a bath; meaning they can bathe in a dignified way
– Transfer Boards – these are useful for both assisted and non-assisted transfer from a bed to a wheelchair and vice versa, they are also portable meaning they can be taken on journeys and easily used in various locations around the establishment.
– Evacuation Equipment – if you have patients in a care home or hospital environment, then they are likely to be less mobile; therefore evacuation equipment, is designed to help care staff aid the evacuation of their patients with easy to use equipment, that keeps those you are caring for safe.
– Slide Sheets – designed for simple transfer from a stretcher to a bed and vice versa, they are designed to be used by a team and allow for quick and easy transfer in a care or hospital environment.
Is Patient Handling Equipment A Requirement?
For both the safety of patients and those who are charged with their care, then especially in the NHS it is legally required that anyone who is responsible for handling and lifting someone needs the correct equipment to avoid injuries. This legislation protects the carers and the people in care meaning that patient handling equipment is an essential addition