Why Safe Patient Handling Is Important
As the population of Britain ages; due to advances in modern medicine and a better standard of living, then one of the issues that needs to be faced is that although people are living longer they often become less mobile and may struggle to get out of bed or get washed by themselves. Therefore there is a necessity for safe patient handling techniques and equipment to assist staff and make life easier for patients.
What Is Safe Patient Handling?
Safe patient handling; is the process of using a combination of standardized techniques and specialist equipment to move and handle patients in a way that is safe for both your staff and for the patient, in order to ensure that there are no injuries to either party.
Who Requires Safe Patient Handling?
Some of those who may require assistance with manoeuvrability could include:
- The Elderly – safe patient handling may be required for elderly care home residents and those in hospitals; as their mobility can often be impeded by the ageing process; as well as any injuries or rehabilitation that they may be going through which will mean they need further assistance.
- Those Suffering Obesity – for those who have got issues with obesity; safe patient handling equipment may be required, for the safety of the staff and the patient, in order to make sure that nobody is injured when transferring the patient from one place to another.
- Those Recovering From Injury – If someone in your care has suffered a serious injury; or they are recovering from major surgery then they may require safe patient handling equipment and techniques to get them from A to B, as their mobility may be impaired by the injuries
Types Of Safe Patient Handling Equipment
Some of the patient handling equipment that is available, in order to make manoeuvring those in your care easier; includes but isn’t exclusive to:
- 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.
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 to any care environment.